Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis
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.
Latest from Tim Graham
The Washington Post seemed to honor Obama-commercial star Joe Soptic in the news section Thursday. Nia-Malika Henderson’s article was headlined “For anti-Romney ads, Democrats call Joe the Steelworker.” The subhead: "New spot seems to tie his wife's death to plant's closure after Bain took over." Online, the headline was "Forget Joe the Plumber -- Meet Joe the Steelworker."
The Post couldn't find space for the Soptic story on Wednesday, even though Henderson interviewed him on Tuesday. Just like with the David Plouffe-scores-100-grand story this week, the Post headlines downplayed that Henderson found more details that make the Soptic ad look even more misleading:
At the same time that NPR was offended enough to go “truth squadding” on Romney’s advertisements attacking Obama's weakness on welfare, NPR’s Don Gonyea reported on Harry Reid’s unsubstantiated charges of Romney tax evasion by leaving the clear impression that Reid is effectively punching away at a Romney “vulnerability” and sees nothing to lose. He certainly can’t seem to lose with NPR.
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR anchor Melissa Block introduced the story as “Don Gonyea reports on the increasingly ugly fight,” but that was applied to both Reid and the Republicans. But their online headline was “In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing.” Like a boxer, get it?
Rush Limbaugh was ahead of the crowd on Tuesday in condemning the Obama super PAC Priorities USA and their ad featuring Joe Soptic saying his wife died of cancer due to Mitt Romney and Romney didn't care. Limbaugh read from a fresh report by Politico's Alex Burns, who quickly determined this was "a cancer fatality that happened near the end of Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts." But there was lots of hedging.
"In the case of this particularly jarring super PAC ad, it may also be relevant that Soptic’s wife died in 2006, years after the GST factory closed down...The lapse in time between the plant closing and Soptic’s death doesn’t mean the ad is invalid, but it raises questions about the cause and effect relationship here... Like most of the outside-group ads in the 2012 race, the fairness of this one is open to interpretation."
Anyone looking for how low this campaign rhetoric can go should just tune in to Current TV. Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer found that on the Stephanie Miller radio show (or Talking Liberally on Current TV), former MSNBC host David Shuster suggested Mitt Romney is so "socially inept" that he probably has some form of autism or Asperger's syndrome.
Shuster also suggested that since Ann Romney's horse Rafalca performed so poorly in dressage at the London Olympics, Mitt Romney should say "I bought a hammer to hit Rafalca over the head for getting, you know, 30th place after we took a $77,000 dollar tax write-off." Video and transcript below.
Today the Media Research Center is releasing a new Special Report entitled "The Media's Obama Miracle: How Journalists Pretend There Aren't Any White House Scandals." It reveals just how dramatically the networks have avoided Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and other Obama scandals.
On October 27, 2011, former Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter wrote a column for Bloomberg News headlined “Obama Miracle is White House Free of Scandal.” Alter began: “President Barack Obama goes into the 2012 [race] with a weak economy that may doom his reelection. But he has one asset that hasn’t received much attention: He’s honest.”
On CNN’s The Situation Room on Tuesday, White House reporter Brianna Keilar took apart what Wolf Blitzer called “the attack ad many see as over the top blaming Mitt Romney for a woman's death from cancer.” It’s an ad from Priorities USA, the super PAC operated by former White House spokesman Bill Burton.
Then, in the next hour, Blitzer repeatedly pressed current Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki to disavow the ad – saying “it’s full of falsehoods” -- and she refused, and bizarrely claimed Team Obama has as much do with Burton’s ad “as we do with Michael Phelps winning gold medals last week.” Here’s how Keilar found holes in the ad :
In the "Yeas and Nays" column of Tuesday's Washington Examiner, reporter Nikki Schwab found Kathleen Turner insisted it would be a "real shame" if Republicans didn't come to Washington's Arena Stage and see her in "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins." It would be a sad "reflection of our nation's mentality" if they wouldn't attend because it doesn't represent their point of view.
But wait a minute -- she also told Schwab that she "purposely" avoided meeting with President Bush at the White House in her capacity as an adviser to the Kennedy Center. She did some "real dodging" for a few years:
In the August 13 edition of Time magazine, "humor" columnist Joel Stein compared eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich to rock musicians playing at Sun City in South Africa during the apartheid era of racial segregation.
"As a guy who is very pro-gay rights, I desperately wished I'd eaten that chicken sandwich before it became symbolic," he wrote.
Comedian Chris Rock was lovingly interviewed by Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times. “I haven’t done any dirty work in a while...I’m ready to curse. I’m ready to really, really be a bad boy. I’m ready to actually be Chris Rock.”
When Itzkoff asked him about his sneering "Happy White People's Independence Day" tweet on July 4, he said it was no "big whoop," that if "you're a fan of mine, that joke's not even a single. It's a B-side that never gets released." But if you're not a fan, you're somehow not allowed to judge it:
Twitchy has identified leftists on Twitter blaming the multiple murders at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee on Rep. Michele Bachmann and "racists like her." (Does it matter that Sikhs aren’t Muslims, as the Left tried to explain when Sikhs were singled out after 9/11?) One insisted “RUSH, BACHMANN, HANNITY, BECK, SAVAGE, etc. All have blood on their hands.”
Over at the Daily Kos blog, the diarist known as “xxdr zombiexx” is blaming “rightwing hate radio and general media” for the shooting. Even the liberal media is being blamed because they don't think whites can be terrorists (hello, McVeigh?):
The Washington Post has an investigative piece below the fold on the front page Monday: “Obama Associate Got $100,000 Fee From Affiliate Of Firm Doing Business With Iran.” Actually, that’s the online headline. The newspaper headline is more boring, without a dollar figure: “Firm with ties to Iran paid Obama associate for talks.” There's also no photograph.
The “associate” is David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager in 2008 and now a “Senior Advisor” at the White House. Couldn’t the Post have put the words “top aide” in that letter space? It’s shorter than “associate.” Would Karl Rove be an "associate" if this had been a Bush story? Here’s how the story by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten began:
Anna Holmes, until recently a Style section writer for The Washington Post wrote a piece for Yahoo News called "The White World of Sports." She began by attacking NBC host Bob Costas and his "man-child hairdo" (?) for not sounding more like Al Sharpton when Gabby Douglas won the all-around Olympic gold in gymnastics.
"You know, it's a happy measure of how far we've come that it doesn't seem all that remarkable, but still it's noteworthy, Gabby Douglas is, as it happens, the first African-American to win the women's all-around in gymnastics," Costas proclaimed. "The barriers have long since been down, but sometimes there can be an imaginary barrier, based on how one might see oneself." Holmes hated that:
NPR’s Terry Gross was effusive in tribute to leftist author Gore Vidal on Friday’s Fresh Air, airing chunks of previous interviews she'd had with Vidal. She began: “In Vidal's New York Times obituary, Charles McGrath described him as, quote, 'the elegant, acerbic, all-around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization,' end quote.”
And: “As Reed Johnson wrote in the Washington Post, quote: ‘Vidal's revisionist outlook struck some critics as brilliant and others as almost gleefully perverse,’ unquote.” From a 1988 interview, Gross let Vidal unleash a long attack on how America is a "very primitive country" with its "peasant superstitions" of Christianity:
The Washington Post published an AP report by Kathy Matheson on a “playful new exhibit at the Rosenbach Museum & Library” in Philadelphia which “pairs priceless material by James Joyce and Maurice Sendak with, um, perhaps less valuable items used by Colbert to write I Am A Pole (And So Can You!).”
The Post loved Colbert’s placement among “literary lions,” but it sounds less than impressive: “The exhibit, on view through Nov. 11, includes Colbert book drafts, sketches by illustrator Paul Hildebrand, two Bud Light Lime bottles, a crumpled paper bag, a turkey sandwich receipt and a rhyming dictionary.” But it’s easy to guess their motivation:
Comedian D.L Hughley appeared on ABC's The View Tuesday in addition to his liberal turn that morning on CBS. He summed up Mitt Romney this way: "When you go to England and you're considered boring and arrogant by the people who invented boring and arrogant, you’re pretty poor."
He also distanced himself from Chick-fil-A, despite liking the food: "It’s a horrible thing for me because I love that Chick-fil-A sandwich. [Licks his lips] And I'm opposed to their stance on gay marriage so I'll get the chicken but not the bun in protest. [Laughter] I can’t do it." Surprisingly, Barbara Walters didn't like his book title:
On the Saturday Washington Post “On Faith” page, columnist and Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller insisted it was not a news story that black ministers came to the National Press Club and insisted Obama’s support for gay marriage “might cost him the election.”
It’s not a story, Miller insisted, because Rev William Owens is “enough to make a cynic blush...He’s a figurehead in what political operatives call an ‘Astroturf’ campaign...and his threat is not a threat.” Miller complained about the news sites that somehow found this “nearly empty” press conference newsworthy:
NPR is the network that sought out Christopher Hitchens to trash Mother Teresa upon her death as a horrible fraud, and then when Hitchens died, they warmly remembered how he hated God and Mother Teresa. So it's not surprising that radical leftist and gay activist Gore Vidal was going to be honored without a second of dissent or disapproval of critics.
None of the glowing obituaries and appreciations carried an ideological label, and one -- on Wednesday night's All Things Considered -- contained a glaring falsehood -- that William F. Buckley called Vidal a "queer" on national TV in 1968 without being provoked. Vidal called him a "crypto-Nazi" first. NPR turned to the gay novelist Christopher Bram to do the honors, and he brazenly lied:
Why does Salon.com hate the Olympics so? After Wednesday’s David Sirota piece decrying (a la Chris Hayes) how “infantile displays of hyper-patriotism” like chanting “USA” for the home team give him jingoistic hives about aiding the military-industrial complex, a Friday article asked “Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win? The gold medalist is a teenager of deep faith and gratitude -- and that can be a little unnerving.”
Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams found it creepy that any athlete would credit Jesus after a victory, and wrote of how she agreed with a colleague that “I would like her more if she were not so, so, so into Jesus.”
President Obama set up a sports-radio interview in Columbus, Ohio...and then talked about the New York Jets. The New York media ate up Obama's comments dismissing the Jets trade for Tim Tebow. On ESPN, commentator Stephen A. Smith insisted Obama should have been talking about the NBA finals instead of Jets football.
With plenty of ooze, ESPN's Skip Bayless wondered if Smith was going to be a Romney voter: "I loved what he said on a Columbus radio station...I loved what Obama said. It was smart! It was insightful! It was interesting to me. His Regular-Guy stock goes way up with me, ‘cause he can really talk sports. He can talk it in depth....You gotta lay off this poor man."
Fresh from her "hate tweets" saying Chick-fil-A eaters deserve a premature death from cancer, Roseanne Barr is revving up her presidential ambitions again. Fox News reports "Roseanne Barr is joining up with activist Cindy Sheehan for a new run at the White House."
Roseanne's presidential website now actively advocates her campaign for the "Peace and Freedom Party," which "is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality."