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
In a colorful demonstration of the Washington press corps’ disdain for Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge, on Sunday’s This Week, a flustered ABC News/NPR veteran Cokie Roberts blurted out: “It’s...politically smart to cut the knees out from under Grover Norquist. I mean this guy is, you know, who is he? He’s an unelected lobbyist.”
She soon urged that “a certain amount of saying ‘the emperor has no clothes’” about Norquist is helpful. “To say that, I think is very useful.”
Demonstrating once more how the NBC Nightly News has become the big audience outlet for MSNBC’s left-wing angst, Brian Williams couldn’t even keep such silliness out of what should have been a light-hearted story on Mitt Romney’s lunch with President Obama. ABC and CBS managed to do that.
On NBC, however, reporter Kristen Welker charged “there was an awkward backdrop to this snap shot” of Romney and Obama shaking hands in the Oval Office. She cited “Romney saying President Obama won because he gave gifts to key constituencies” as well as Romney adviser Stuart Stevens daring to suggest Obama “was a charismatic African-American President with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.”
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer and correspondent Jonathan Karl on Monday night salivated over Republicans breaking Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. “We did see a sign the paralysis may be ending,” Sawyer relayed over “Tax Revolt?” on screen, touting “a Republican mutiny against a man who had convinced them to take a pledge.” She soon trumpeted the “new sign of flexibility.”
As if that’s a bad thing, Jonathan Karl fretted “the pledge is the biggest obstacle to any deal that would raise taxes.” But he saw hope ahead in how “with a budget crisis on the horizon and a re-elected President insisting on tax increases, some Republicans are now thinking the unthinkable: Ditching the pledge.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so it’s hardly shocking that the children of a journalist would prefer President Barack Obama’s re-election, but instead of being embarrassed by such stereotype-confirming views, Al Neuharth embraced them and decided to follow their advice in casting his vote – as if there were any doubt.
In his weekly column back on Friday, November 9, the 88-year-old founder of USA Today recounted how his six adopted kids, ranging in ages from 12 to 21, all supported Obama, including “Rafi, 12,” who “said Romney wants to ‘take from the poor and give to the rich’” and “Ariana, 14,” who “said if Romney wins, she wants to leave the USA and move to her second favorite country -- the Netherlands.”
A fun nugget buried inside Tuesday’s USA Today “Life” section profile of Alec Baldwin: The left-wing actor attributed his former girth to eating a lot of ice cream while watching MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Two ABC News stars have proven, once again, the media’s obsession with raising taxes over any effort to cut a cent of spending. Two days after the election, anchor Diane Sawyer repeatedly pushed House Speaker John Boehner to move away from a conservative position and agree to President Obama’s wish to hike income tax rates, but on Sunday’s This Week, Martha Raddatz refused to press House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about getting Democrats to shift from their position and accede to any reduced spending.
Instead, she quizzed Pelosi about getting Republicans to accept a tax hike and how to get around such intransigence: “Have you seen any indication that the Republicans are open to raising rates?”
Actor/comedian Robert Klein (IMDb page) let loose on Monday night’s Late Show, roaring back with his fists raised, shrieking a loud, guttural “yeah!” to celebrate President Barack Obama’s re-election.
And then he flicked his hand under his chin to flip off Ann Coulter as he exclaimed: “Ann Coulter, this one’s for you, baby!”
Tonight, CBS-owned Showtime will debut a ten-part series: Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. Ronald Radosh, in last week’s Weekly Standard, determined it offers “not an untold story, but the all-too-familiar Communist and Soviet line on America’s past as it developed in the early years of the Cold War.”
Sunday’s Meet the Press featured a panel of five, none of them conservative (Congressman-elect Joaquín Castro, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, author Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and NBC’s Chuck Todd), to assess why Mitt Romney lost and “the future of the GOP.” And they agreed conservatives are the problem.
Todd, NBC’s political director, decided the GOP has become “a coalition of special interest forces” and fretted “the leaders in Washington can’t control the special interest groups” as Republicans, like Democrats in the past, “succumbed to their base.”
A fresh insertion of leftist politics into prime time entertainment television. On Sunday night’s The Good Wife on CBS, which is set in Chicago, a judge strode into court and observed: “I hope you’re staying cool today on this unusually hot November day.” He then declared, “I hope you don’t mind me saying: Global warming 1, skeptics 0.”
He next insisted, in a case of a contractor who supposedly assaulted a soldier in Afghanistan, “I have great respect for all those in uniform, no matter how our government sees fit to employ them.”
When, ten minutes into the October 28 Meet the Press, guest panelist Carly Fiorina brought up Benghazi, host David Gregory cut her off, but promised: “We’ll get to Libya a little bit later.” The show proceeded for nearly another 50 minutes without another mention of Libya.
A full seven days later -- 168 hours to be precise -- Gregory made good on his belated pledge, raising Benghazi with Obama operative David Plouffe just over ten minutes into the November 4 Meet the Press, but only after trying to discredit administration critics: “A lot of misinformation about this and a politicization of this in the final days.”
Former Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief and Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas saw an upside if Mitt Romney does manage to win the presidency, but Democrats continue to hold the Senate.
On Inside Washington, Thomas avowed “that would allow Romney to tell the crazies in his own party ‘I have to make a deal with the Democrats.’ It would free him a little bit from the Tea Party.” In other words, he’d be able to agree to a tax hike.
Chuck Lorre, executive producer of three sit-coms on CBS (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly), used the ends of two of his shows Thursday night to tease an online diatribe ridiculing Mitt Romney’s “magical underwear” as part of a series of questions mocking right of center policies, such as: “What does it say about us when we export democracy with Hellfire missiles, then restrict the right to vote here?”
His more vulgar language after the jump.
ABC, CBS and NBC did their part Friday night to minimize the negative impact to the Obama campaign from the rise in the unemployment rate from 7.8 to 7.9 percent in October.
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer allocated a piddling 18 seconds to the news as she characterized the 171,000 jobs growth as “beating predictions,” NBC’s Brian Williams stressed how the 171,000 additional jobs number “was better than the experts had expected” and the CBS Evening News focused on one “flourishing” company which has grown this year from 80 to 450 workers.
ABC’s World News on Thursday continued its week-plus blackout of any of the new revelations about the Obama administration’s dissembling on what occurred before and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, yet made time to tout Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of President Obama and for an excerpt of Diane Sawyer’s gauzy “Portrait of a Candidate” interview with Obama from early October.
“Our brand new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows” Obama “with a one-point edge,” Sawyer announced, leading into touting: “He also got a big helpful endorsement today.”
The leftist bias of the New York Times beautifully encapsulated in seven words used about a week before two presidential elections. Headline over Saturday’s editorial on the third quarter GDP creeping up to 2.0 percent under Democrat Barack Obama: “Slow but Steady Improvement.” Headline twenty years ago (October 29, 1992) when Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush was in the White House and the third quarter GDP nearly doubled to 2.7 percent: “Gross National Letdown.”
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume upbraided the press for its lack of interest in pursuing the Obama administration’s misstatements and dissembling on what they knew before and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, lamenting on Fox News Sunday that “one of the problems we’re having here is, that it has fallen to this news organization, Fox News and a couple others, to do all the heavy lifting on this story.”
A “couple of others” may be generous. CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson is about the only other major news outlet journalist showing any interest. “The mainstream organs of the media that would be after this like a pack of hounds, if this were a Republican President,” Hume observed, “have been remarkably reticent.”
A mix of hatred and despair on display Friday night from a member of Barack Obama’s core constituency: the Hollywood Left. On something called John Fugelsang: So That Happened, which runs weekly on Current, actor/radio host Jay Thomas combined fret and an insult in decrying the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: “I can’t believe we’re talking the 21st century and these two white idiots are running for something.”
Saying “these are the most un-modern people I’ve ever seen. They’re medieval, almost” because “they don’t believe in abortion,” Thomas despaired: “I’m really worried, and I feel right now that Mitt Romney has a really good chance of winning the election.”
A pretty funny bit from ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live proving some people accept whatever they are told and have no hesitation about pronouncing their opinion on it. Even if it never occurred. Kimmel sent a camera crew onto Hollywood Boulevard, outside his Los Angeles studio, to ask people who “won” the “First Lady Debate”?
As excerpted, the Thursday before last, at the end of FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier, passers by weren’t shy about sharing their assessments of how Michelle Obama and Ann Romney performed in the supposed “First Lady Debate.”
Even after all the e-mails and information has come out over the past few weeks proving dissembling by President Obama himself and other administration officials on what they knew about the Benghazi attack and how their public pronouncements did not match reality, NBC’s Brian Williams, on Thursday’s Rock Center, treated President Obama as a victim of bad intelligence who is struggling to find the truth.
Incredible. The perfect definition of “in the tank.”
Williams spent a couple of days with Obama for campaign travelogue pieces which consumed the first 25 minutes of the prime time hour. In Colorado with Obama on Wednesday afternoon, Williams posed this obsequious question: