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
November 19, 2009, 2:30 AM EST

NBC's Chuck Todd and CBS's Chip Reid both concluded their interviews with President Obama conducted in Beijing by worrying about the “stress” of his job. “He laughed off the speculation about his reported weight loss,” Todd relayed on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, “but admitted the burden of the office does weigh on him.” The MSNBC.com online video of the entire interview disclosed Todd's obsequious inquiry:

I've had a couple people ask me this at NBC, are you losing weight, do you feel the stress? Where is this coming from? Or at the one-year point, do you feel like, “Oh my God, I look in the mirror, boy, they're right, this job does age you?”

Echoing the same concern, on the CBS Evening News Chip Reid related: “Asked about the stress of the job, the President denied reports that he's skipping meals and losing weight, but he admitted it's taking a toll.” As viewers heard Obama's reply -- “You have a convergence of factors that have made this a difficult year not so much for me but for the American people. Absolutely that weighs on me” -- CBS displayed a photo of a solemn Obama, head bowed, gazing out of an Oval Office window.

November 18, 2009, 11:28 AM EST

Some vindication for Sarah Palin in the midst of non-stop media hostility. On Monday night's Late Show with David Letterman, guest Seth Myers, the head writer for Saturday Night Live who also anchors the comedy show's 'Weekend Update' fake newscast, noted how in her new book she asserts that during her guest appearance on the NBC show, just before the election, “that we had taken her mantra, 'drill baby drill,' and tried to make a rude double-entendre about it.”

November 16, 2009, 12:46 AM EST

Looking at Sarah Palin's new book, Going Rogue: An American Life, NBC's Andrea Mitchell caught a passage about herself in which Palin recalled that when she invited some reporters to go fishing with her this past July that “I wanted to see Andrea and her colleagues sporting fish-slimed waders, banging around in a skiff, stuck in the mud,” but, she regretted, the weather was too good so “dang it -- none of them got slimed.”

On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, Mitchell recounted, over video (with the book text over-layed) of Mitchell and Palin on a boat:

November 15, 2009, 3:13 PM EST

The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]

Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”

The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:

Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.

November 14, 2009, 5:32 PM EST

Former Congressman William Jefferson, the New Orleans Democrat with bribery cash hidden in his freezer, was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison, the longest-ever for a Member of Congress on a corruption charge -- yet the CBS Evening News didn't utter a word about it, just as that newscast ignored his August conviction, while ABC's World News didn't bother to mention his party affiliation.  

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams noted Jefferson's party in this short item: “Former Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson made headlines a while back when the FBI found $90,000 in cash hidden in his freezer. Today, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for taking bribes.”

ABC's Charles Gibson, however, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth noticed, failed to identify Jefferson as a Democrat: “Former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for his conviction on federal bribery charges. Authorities found $90,000 wrapped in foil in Jefferson’s freezer, part of the half million dollars prosecutors say he received for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa.”

November 12, 2009, 9:52 PM EST

News that President Barack Obama is demanding new Afghanistan options and answers, after months and eight meetings with top officials on General Stanley McChrystal's request for more troops, led ABC anchor Charles Gibson to express exasperation Thursday night: “What new questions are there to be asked after all this time?”

CBS and NBC, however, weren't so dubious. Though Katie Couric painted “a long, drawn out process,” Chip Reid assigned gravitas to Obama as he asserted Obama “has been agonizing over this decision” and “recently immersed himself in the agony of war.” Reid touted: “That the President is so thoroughly researching such a critical decision is a good thing, according to CBS News national security consultant Juan Zarate.” Reid acknowledged that “there's great danger, he [Zarate] says, if it looks like uncertainty.”

Journalists, though, are making Obama look more deliberative than uncertain. ABC's Martha Raddatz assured Gibson that Obama “has four options in front of him” and “he wants to combine those options...to find the best option.”

November 10, 2009, 9:25 PM EST

Tuesday night ABC's Brian Ross highlighted how in a 2007 presentation mass-murdering Army Major Nidal Hasan exposed his radicalism and adherence to Islam over the U.S. Army as he charged “it's getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims,” and declared: “We love death more than you love life.”

But neither CBS nor NBC cited those quotes for their viewers as they gave short-shrift to Hasan's remarks in “The Koranic World View As It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military,” a slide show disclosed by Dana Priest in Tuesday's Washington Post (click on “Launch Photo Gallery” for Hasan's entire presentation at Walter Reed in June of 2007).

On the NBC Nightly News, Pete Williams just briefly noted how Hasan asserted that “releasing Muslim soldiers as conscientious objectors would increase troop morale and, quote, 'decrease adverse events.'” Bob Orr, on CBS, at least characterized it as “a shocking presentation to colleagues,” and related only how “Hasan argued forcing Muslim soldiers to fight wars in Muslim countries puts them 'at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly' and he ominously warned of 'adverse events.'”  

November 9, 2009, 4:52 PM EST

Two-and-a-half years before Army Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim medical doctor, murdered 13 at Fort Hood in Texas in what more-and-more looks like a jihadist terrorist attack given his anti-American rants and ties to Islamic extremists, ABC's since-canceled Boston Legal drama ridiculed the idea a doctor could be a terrorist.

A scene in the episode first aired on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 -- meant to show the silliness and incompetence of the military for detaining obviously innocent men -- concluded with a released terror suspect being asked in courtroom about a colleague who had committed suicide to avoid the mistreatment: “Was your friend a terrorist?” The man replied with these words, dripping with disgust, which dramatically ended the scene: “No, he was a doctor.”

Audio: MP3 clip

November 8, 2009, 4:34 PM EST

With the unemployment rate soaring in 10.2 percent in Friday's report on October, two old hands in the Washington press corps appeared on Sunday morning shows where they asserted that means we need another stimulus bill and/or the problem is the current “stimulus” bill wasn't big enough. On This Week, ABC News vet Sam Donaldson maintained “we're going to have to have more stimulus, more spending.”

November 7, 2009, 2:33 PM EST

Newsweek's Evan Thomas regretted the Fort Hood mass murderer, Major Nidal Hasan, is a Muslim because of how that reality will be abused by conservatives. On this weekend's Inside Washington, Thomas, now Editor at Large with Newsweek after stints as Assistant Managing Editor and Washington bureau chief, rued:

I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going and it just -- I mean these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.

NPR's Nina Totenberg soon chimed in with agreement: “It really is tragic that he was a Muslim.”

Audio: MP3 clip

November 6, 2009, 9:49 PM EST

ABC doubled the length of its evening newscast on Friday night and World News used its second half hour to suggest an exculpatory reason behind Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan's mass killing at Fort Hood -- as anchor Charles Gibson reasoned “treating the mentally wounded can be stressful” -- then to devote a story to the plight of Muslim soldiers: “It's not easy for anyone serving in the armed forces these days, but with America fighting Islamic enemies overseas, Muslim troops face a unique burden.” Reporter Bill Weir despaired:

The Pentagon has made a real concerted effort to create a military that is culturally sensitive and religiously tolerant, but Muslims in uniform today face a challenge not seen since Japanese-Americans fought in World War II. They taste suspicion from some fellow soldiers who question their loyalty and resentment from fellow Muslims opposed to both American wars.

Weir featured a Muslim soldier who lamented “our religion teaches better,” before Weir painted Muslim soldiers as victims of intolerance, highlighting the experience of one Muslim soldier who “began his overseas deployment on 9/11, and taunts followed him throughout his four-year enlistment.”

November 6, 2009, 9:41 AM EST

Despite the mass shooting at Fort Hood, the ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts Thursday night squeezed in full stories pegged to a “kill the bill” anti-Pelosi/ObamaCare rally outside the U.S. Capitol attended by “angry protesters” as all the stories also stressed how President Obama got a “boost” from “big,” “powerful” “key” and “major” endorsements from the AARP and AMA.

NBC's Brian Williams contrasted “big endorsements by two influential groups” with “a big, noisy rally urging lawmakers to just say no,” while reporter Kelly O'Donnell minimized the conservative event as “a few thousand protesters.” ABC's Jonathan Karl, however, recognized how “the hastily-planned protest drew one of the largest crowds in memory for a congressional event. The crowd extends all the way up around to the House side of the building, across to the Senate side, literally surrounding the western front of the Capitol.”

NBC's Kelly recounted how the House bill would “expand health coverage to 96 percent of Americans, and create government-backed insurance called a public option. Today that plan won a powerful endorsement. AARP, the lobby group for Americans over 50, signed on and showed off boxes of supportive petitions” and that was “followed by another boost, the doctors' lobby, the American Medical Association.”

November 5, 2009, 8:28 PM EST

Neither the CBS Evening News nor NBC Nightly News, in their East coast feeds Thursday night, noted the Muslim religious beliefs of the mass killer at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, but ABC anchor Charles Gibson wasn't cowed by political correctness as he teased World News, “Fort Hood tragedy: An Army officer, a Muslim convert, is the suspect in a shooting spree...” Introducing his first story, Gibson referred to how Major Nidal Malik Hasan “an army officer, a Muslim, opened fire with handguns...” (With a range of frequency, during late afternoon/early evening coverage, CNN, FNC and MSNBC all identified Hasan as a Muslim.)

Cryptically, ABC's senior foreign affairs correspondent, Martha Raddatz, concluded a story on reaction at Fort Hood: “As for the suspect, Nadal Hasan, as one officer's wife told me, 'I wish his name was Smith.'” So, a concern this will lead to groundless fear of Muslims?

The CBS Evening News avoided any mention of Islam or Muslim faith as Katie Couric provided this benign description: “Today, according to the Army, a soldier opened fire....He's identified tonight as Army Major Nadal Malik Hasan, a licensed psychiatrist and drug and rehab specialist from Bethesda, Maryland.” NBC anchor Brian Williams: “The soldier, identified as the initial gunman here, is an Army psychiatrist, Nadal Malik Hasan. He's an officer, a Major, and he was apparently armed with two handguns.” NBC's Pete Williams insisted, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth noticed, “everything about his background is rock solid, and nothing extraordinary stands out about his background.”

November 4, 2009, 8:52 PM EST

CBS's Bob Schieffer on Wednesday night offered the hindsight that everyone knew the Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey would lose, they did lose and so the losses mean nothing. “I think what we saw last night were snap shots. I don't think we saw predictors,” Schieffer declared on the CBS Evening News in absolving President Obama of any culpability. “I don't think they told us much except that people are very frustrated out in the country.” And that, apparently, has nothing to do with Obama.

Schieffer recited what happened with remarkable prescience: In Virginia, “they run someone for Governor [Creigh Deeds] who is a rural candidate who's little-known in Northern Virginia and who could not seem to connect with the African-American voters. So he got beat and he got beat bad. Most people thought that was going to happen and it did.” Up Interstate 95 in New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine “was just so unpopular that I think he just didn't have a chance from the get-go.”

November 4, 2009, 4:00 AM EST

During a live midnight EST hour Larry King Live Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, CNN's Larry King repeatedly employed the “far right” pejorative to describe those who backed the unsuccessful New York congressional bid of the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman. After Wolf Blitzer announced at 12:15 AM EST that CNN had declared Democrat Bill Owens the winner, King blurted: “That may be the first defeat for the far right tonight.”

About 15 minutes later, King pressed Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times: “Since the far right did get into that race in upstate New York, is this a legitimate defeat for them tonight?”

And a few minutes after that, King forwarded the notion “the far right” is a “threat” to the GOP, asking Ben Stein: “Do you see the far right as evidenced by -- we all know who they are -- as a threat to your party?”

November 3, 2009, 7:27 PM EST

Shortly before the polls closed, CBS's chief Washington correspondent, Bob Schieffer, rejected any effort to tie President Barack Obama to two the Democratic gubernatorial candidates for whom Obama campaigned, insisting on Tuesday's CBS Evening News that the contests were more about local issues and so “I don't think they had much to do with anything but New Jersey and Virginia.”

Citing the special congressional race in New York, Schieffer rued “this third-party conservative who literally pushed a moderate Republican out of the race,” and proceeded to analogize Republicans this year to leftist activists who in 1972 pushed Democrats to pick an un-electable presidential candidate:

The Republican Party is really split and it is the conservatives who seem to have the juice right now. It's very much like what Democrats went through in 1972. The party activists on the left were so upset with mainstream candidates that in an effort to purify their party they pushed it so far to the left that they nominated the very liberal George McGovern for President. Now it's conservative Republicans who are upset with their mainstream candidates. They want to push the party to the right.
November 3, 2009, 4:45 PM EST

ABC's 'V' mini-series, which will debut tonight (Tuesday) in the first hour of prime time, is “nominally a rousing sci-fi space opera about alien invaders bent on the conquest (and digestion) of all humanity,” but “it's also a barbed commentary on Obamamania that will infuriate the President's supporters and delight his detractors,” Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin asserted in a review distributed by the McClatchy/Tribune news service and run in Tuesday's Chicago Tribune, among other papers. Garvin contended:

From the fawning reaction of the news media...to the recruiting of human supporters into an alien front group that could easily be mistaken for “community organizing,” the parallels to Obama are unmistakable.

Though the leader of the aliens, in Garvin's words, “is secretly a totalitarian space lizard who's come here to eat us,” the plot has a featured character, a TV journalist, aiding the effort. “Some welcome their arrival,” USA Today's Gary Levin recounted, “but the suspicious form a resistance movement, which leads the visitors' charismatic leader, Anna (Morena Baccarin), to enlist an ambitious TV reporter (Scott Wolf) as a propaganda tool.” Garvin, presumably citing the same character: “One simpering anchorman even shouts at a reporter who asks a tough question.”

A storyline ripped from real-life!

November 3, 2009, 3:40 PM EST

“President Obama may not have delivered on all the policy changes he promised since his election a year ago, but he and his family have brought dramatic social change to the nation's capital and to the country's collective image of its first family,” USA Today's Mimi Hall and Maria Puente gushed in a front page story on Tuesday marking a year since President Obama's election, “With cultural 'flair,' Obamas updating first family's image.” The two reporters began by describing Barack and Michelle Obama as just like any other hip couple:

He carries a smartphone on his hip, goes out for burgers and plays pickup hoops. She goes to their daughters' soccer games, works in the garden and loves listening to her iPod. Together, they host poets, artists and musicians at their house and invite neighborhood kids to drop by.

The journalistic duo soon featured this glowing assessment: “'The Obamas' White House is the most open for cultural and intellectual activities since the Kennedy administration,' says Douglas Brinkley, author and presidential historian at Rice University in Houston. 'It's not simply a matter of doing events of statecraft and cultural gravitas. They have a great flair for American pop culture.'”

November 3, 2009, 9:06 AM EST

Earning a chuckle even from Al Gore himself for the over the top glorification, CBS's Katie Couric opened her “@katiecouric” CBSNews.com Web show interview with Al Gore by extolling: “I'm honored to be joined today by the Godfather of Green, the King of Conservation: Former Vice President Al Gore.” The very friendly 30-minute Monday interview was prompted by the release of Gore new book, 'Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.'

Monday's CBS Evening News carried a brief excerpt, sans the excessively laudatory introduction: “Today I spoke with someone who knows a bit about Washington politics and the environment, former Vice President Al Gore. He's out with a new book and is on the cover of this week's edition of Newsweek.”

Audio: MP3 clip which matches the video.

November 2, 2009, 9:01 PM EST

Following a Monday night look at Tuesday's special election to fill New York's 23rd congressional district seat in which Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out after falling behind the Democrat and the Conservative Party nominee, ABC anchor Charles Gibson -- instead of wondering why the GOP establishment failed to pick a candidate who upholds basic Republican principles -- delivered the usual liberal media upset over the GOP's lack of a “big tent,” a phrase you never hear when Democrats pick left-wing candidates:

A liberal Republican gets forced out of the race by a more conservative guy who was actually not a Republican, was running on the Conservative ticket. What happened to the big tent in the Republican Party?

John Berman framed the preceding story on the “moderate” Scozzafava “who supports abortion rights and the President’s stimulus plan,” around the premise that going with a conservative candidate will hurt in the long run: “A Republican drops out of a race which might guarantee Republicans keep the seat, which might be bad for the Republican party long term.” Berman concluded with how the conservative candidate, Douglas Hoffman, “says not all views are welcome” as he suggested “there's always boundaries.” To which Berman intoned: “The question for Republicans is will those boundaries become a burden?”