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” (highlight video clips on NewsBusters), 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 December 10: Displaying identical news judgments, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts on Sunday night offered a matching way to frame the day’s news as both used the very same phrasing for their on-screen teases, with corresponding narration from the anchors: “Impeachable Offenses?”
During a two part interview with President Trump aired on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Lesley Stahl asked “what’s the biggest surprise” he's learned as President? Trump cited the duplicity of Washington politicians, but when he relayed how “the other thing I’ve really learned is I never knew how dishonest the media was and I really mean it. I’m not saying that as a soundbite. I never knew how dishonest,” Stahl cut him off: “I’m going to change the subject again.” Trump soon zinged her: “In the meantime, I’m President and you’re not.”
Sunday night I stumbled across CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell and I actually learned something as host Bell devoted the hour to the joys of living in Canada. Bell featured a man who was so disgusted by Donald Trump’s election that he left Oregon for Canada. That man: Mark Nykanen, an NBC News Washington correspondent from 1980 to 1988.
A gem of a comeback on a prime time drama. After a character contended “the world is no longer as simple as us and them” and “if we don’t evolve beyond us-and-them logic, then we will go extinct,” another character retorted by wondering: “Did you take a New York Times suppository this morning because I can’t imagine how else anybody can internalize so many bullshit liberal talking points.”
Last week’s episode of FX’s The Americans, set in 1987, imagined a U.S. arms control official telling an undercover Soviet KGB operative that he’d heard from a White House insider that President Ronald Reagan has “been forgetful, not focused, almost a different person lately. The man I talked to said he thinks that the President might be going senile.” In the next scene, the agent’s KGB handler worried: “Weinberger and his cronies are even more hard-line than Reagan.”
A badge of honor for the late Robert Bork and his supporters? He drew the ire of an undercover Soviet KGB operative in an imaginary scene, set in early October 1987, on FX’s The Americans. At a dinner at a neighbor’s house, college student “Paige Jennings,” played by Holly Taylor, matched American Left hostility at the time toward President Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee: “He opposed anti-segregation laws, he thinks that women aren’t protected under the 14th Amendment.” She soon charged: “A lot of Nazis were brilliant too.”
The sixth and final season of The Americans, a drama about Soviet agents working undercover in suburban Washington, DC in the 1980s, begins tonight (Wednesday) on the FX cable channel. 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. Five video highlighhts follow.
Archive, from July through December 2017, 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.
Where does acting end and reality begin? In a movie now in rotation on HBO, actress Allison Williams, the daughter of MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, declares: “My dad would have voted for Obama a third time if he could have. Like, the love is so real.” Sounds perfectly plausible that such sentiment would apply to her real life father, the disgraced ousted anchor of the NBC Nightly News. I stumbled upon the line in Get Out, a horror movie from Universal released in February.
With movie producer and Democratic fundraiser Harvey Weinstein embroiled in mounting charges of sexual harassment and worse, a reminder of his left-wing politics from his time as an influential supporter of Barack Obama. Appearing on Piers Morgan’s CNN show in 2013, Weinstein complained “this is the only the country in the world where we don’t have health care” or adequate gun control and thus, he argued, “Obama’s not embarrassing. The country’s embarrassing.”
As summer winds down, a quick look at a scene I caught on Netflix’s Ozark in which the wife of a money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel declared her admiration for former President Barack Obama. Recalling how she worked for “Obama’s second legislative campaign,” criminal “Wendy Byrde,” played by actress Laura Linney, touted how “I just loved everything he stood for, what we were all trying to do together.”
For Tuesday’s show this past week, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel took his camera out to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles to ask people to identify North Korea on a map. Not surprisingly, total failure. Take an amusing, if depressing, look at how clueless many are as more than one person pointed to Europe, the Middle East, Australia, South America and even....Canada.
Archive, from January 2017 through June 2017, 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.
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.