Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center
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
New on July 17: Len Downie, former executive editor of the Washington Post and an editor during the Watergate era, bemoaning how the proliferation in media outlets means that now, unlike during Watergate, coverage of supposed Trump scandals is being undermined because there’s a “right wing press that is not concerned about facts.”
Tonight (Monday), CBS-affiliated Showtime begins The Putin Interviews, a four-night series of interview excerpts with Russian President Vladimir Putin, conducted by far-left film maker Oliver Stone who, judging by a previous series on Showtime, has an affinity for KGB-connected strongmen.
Unintentionally inane sentence of the weekend, from Jon Klein, the former President of CNN/US, on the legacy of the late Roger Ailes, founder of the Fox News Channel: “By unreservedly infusing news with a right-of-center agenda, Ailes popularized the notion that all journalists are biased.” You read that correctly: The media were not widely seen as biased until Ailes created a biased network.
Actor Robert De Niro delivered an outburst of anti-Trump vitriol just before the Saturday night debut on HBO of The Wizard of Lies, a movie in which he plays Bernie Madoff. He told USA Today that Madoff’s story still “resonates” thanks to President Trump and that while what Madoff “did was horrible and awful; monstrous,” Trump is worse than the Ponzi scheme criminal since he’s a “bad con artist” who every day is “doing something that is absolutely — what word can I use? He’s just a slob. He’s a pig.”
On last week’s episode of FX’s The Americans, mom “Elizabeth,” a KGB operative in the U.S. in the mid ‘80s, catches teen daughter “Paige” reading Karl Marx’s Capital: Critique of Political Economy. “Elizabeth” espouses how Marx wrote about “the capitalist class structure being a kind of slavery, how revolution is necessary to create and achieve a worker state so that no one is exploited.” To which, “Paige” asks of the Soviet Union: “Is everybody equal?” Mom responds: “We have our problems.”
Comedian Don Rickles, who passed away Thursday at age 90, in May of 2014 told David Letterman, on the Late Show, that “the highlight of my life was doing the Ronald Reagan Inaugural.” Below is video, from YouTube, of Rickles’ politically incorrect performance at President Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Gala, for the 40th President’s second term, held at the old (since torn down) Washington Convention Center, on Saturday night, January 19, 1985.
The season opening home game for the Washington Nationals will take place Monday afternoon and last week media outlets were full of outrage over how President Donald Trump, by declining the team’s invitation to throw out the first pitch, was breaking a century-old “baseball tradition.” But as Washington Post “D.C. Sports Bog” reporter Dan Steinberg pointed out in calling out his journalistic brethren: “It isn’t true. It’s news that is fake. Trump is not breaking a 100-year-old baseball tradition.”
The Americans, which will have a new episode tonight (Tuesday) on FX, last Tuesday delivered something you rarely get anywhere on television: A “teaching moment” which highlighted the failure of policies liberals advance. Namely, the failure of socialistic/central control economic policies as the episode panned by near-barren shelves in a dingy Soviet-era Moscow grocery story.
The penultimate fifth season of The Americans debuts at 10 PM EST/PST tonight (Tuesday) on FX. As I’ve written before, while the FX series humanizes undercover KGB operatives working in the U.S. on behalf of the Soviet Union, the show also illustrates the ruthlessness of Soviet communism and how the American Left in the 1980s helped advance Soviet interests.
Archive, from July through December 2016, of the Washington Examiner’s weekly Mainstream Media Scream posts by Paul Bedard, which are based upon a recommendation from the MRC’s Brent Baker who also provides an explanation for each one.
Picking up on allegations Russian hacking was intended to help Donald Trump win the election, on CBS’s Face the Nation Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate, contended that “if it is true, if we have further verification of this, then what it suggests potentially is that the election was in some sense illegitimate.”
Pot: Kettle. In Friday’s Washington Post, media columnist Margaret Sullivan told those with “news fatigue” that “this is no time to tune out,” yet Sullivan soon displayed how clueless journalists are about their own leftward bias which leads so many to distrust the media and want to tune out. Presuming President-elect Trump’s personnel choices are “upsetting,” she cited how Trump “has nominated for national security adviser a general who pushes conspiracy theories, and a climate change denier to head the EPA.”
Fidel Castro was a tyrant who oppressed Cubans and brought misery to many for several decades and while much of the breaking news coverage emphasized that reality, some journalists couldn’t resist crediting him for supposed great advancements in education, literacy and health care. ABC’s Jim Avila went so far as to tout how Castro “was considered, even to this day, the George Washington of his country” and, reminiscing about his high school years, Chris Matthews asserted Castro was “a romantic figure when he came into power” who “was almost like a folk hero to most of us.”
The days, weeks and months ahead must have seemed to hold such glory with Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech just hours earlier setting a course to her inevitable November victory. Looking back, this moment may have been the high point for Democrats and the news media – but I repeat myself. The moment: 1:18 AM EDT (Thursday night, July 28/Friday morning July 39) hours after Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech.
British comedian John Oliver remained in full denial on his Sunday night HBO show, bitterly lashing out with expletives at Americans for supporting Donald Trump, demanding: “How the f- -k did we get here and what the f- -k do we do now?” He proceeded to blame Trump’s win on “deep racism and/or indifference to it,” the media for going too easy on him as they failed to destroy “a serial liar” and argued that to “mitigate Trump’s damage” his viewers should support mainstream media outlets.
For Monday’s newspaper, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan put together a list of the thirteen “best” media moments of the campaign. Ten of the thirteen – surprise, surprise – were stories meant to undermine Donald Trump. Only one of the thirteen was harmful to Hillary Clinton and two were arguably neutral.
Two national polls released late in the week confirmed the public widely recognizes the news media’s agenda in favor of Hillary Clinton and decidedly against Donald Trump, a reality documented in a NewsBusters study earlier in the week. “By nearly 10-1, all those surveyed say the news media, including major newspapers and TV stations, would like to see Clinton rather than Trump elected,” Susan Page and Karina Shedrofsky reported deep into a Thursday USA Today story.
During Thursday night’s Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City, Donald Trump got off a zinger identifying leaders present from the pro-Clinton news media. It naturally hasn’t been the media’s favorite Trump joke line to re-play.
It’s been hard to avoid seeing the behind the scenes “hot microphone” video of Access Hollywood host Billy Bush arriving on a bus, with Donald Trump, at the NBC lot in Burbank. But while that clip featured Trump’s widely denounced lewd remarks about women, what did the NBC entertainment news program air at the time? Well, from the MRC’s video archive, here’s the story which aired on the Friday, October 21, 2005 Access Hollywood to plug Trump’s cameo the following Monday on the Days of Our Lives soap opera.
In his April 26, 2015 This Week interview with Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos acted as if he was Hillary’s Clinton’s defense lawyer cross-examining an adverse witness as he repeatedly interrupted and argued with Schweizer. Now we know, thanks to WikiLeaks, what many long suspected: ABC’s lead anchor was very possibly working off talking points provided by Hillary for America.