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 most absurd and improbable New York Times headline was published on Sunday, over a magnum opus by columnist Frank Bruni. “Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again in 2020?” You read that correctly. The real collusion in the 2016 election was between Donald Trump and his enablers in the press.
The Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart movie The Upside won the weekend box office race, grossing about $20 million in ticket sales. Conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby reported Cranston was attacked from the Left for accepting the role of Phillip Lacasse, a billionaire left paralyzed after a paragliding accident. They think only paralyzed actors should play paralyzed people.
One of the most ignored passages in federal legislation came in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, insisting that public TV and radio should insure "objectively and balance in all programs of a controversial nature." Take the debate over transgenderism. That debate has two sides, and it's controversial, and yet on Saturday night, the PBS NewsHour aired almost 14 minutes of transgender advocacy without any rebuttal from an opposing point of view.
In his Reliable Sources newsletter on Thursday night, CNN's Brian Stelter ripped Laura Ingraham for attacking the media's sympathetic focus on government workers during the shutdown. "Ingraham plays a media critic on TV, but what do actual media critics think?" That's a pretty weird attack from a guy who plays a media critic on TV. He turned to liberal defenders of bureaucrat-heavy shutdown coverage. Stelter implied that there are no conservatives who have an "actual" beef with the media's liberal bias during the shutdown.
On Friday, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On The Basis of Sex expanded into more than 1,900 theaters. So the puff piece on Thursday's Morning Edition on NPR served like an informercial. NPR host Rachel Martin interviewed Felicity Jones (who plays Ginsburg) and director Mimi Leder. Jones gushed "Well, initially, I was very, very intimidated. And it's nerve-wracking paying such a beloved woman. And I, myself, am a huge, huge fan of her." Not discussed: where the film is Fake News.
National Public Radio has a reputation for being calm and boring, but not about sex. On Saturday night's All Things Considered, fill-in host Sarah McCammon warned "we want to mention that the conversation we're about to have may not be appropriate for younger listeners." Emily Dreyfuss of Wired magazine was outraged that the apparently sexist Consumer Electronics Show had banned a newfangled vibrator from their expo in Las Vegas.
There is a serious clash between the notion that today's Washington press corps has an almost religious devotion to the Facts and Hollywood's way of swirling facts into nasty fiction against conservatives. This clash was illustrated by the "Newseum" in Washington hosting a screening of Vice, the truth-defying movie that turns Dick Cheney into a cartoonish "sociopathic monster," in the words of screenwriter/director Adam McKay. The gossips at The Washington Post said it was "attended by what seemed like half the city's press corps."
Anyone catching the television ads for the Dick Cheney-trashing movie Vice found them heavily promoting it with the surprising six Golden Globe nominations it received from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. That affirmation also became the “news hook” for press interviews with the director and the actors, seeking to weaponize it politically. Sadly for them, only actor Christian Bale won an award for gaining 40 pounds and talking out of the side of his mouth like the Penguin in a Batman movie. He thanked Satan for inspiration.
Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan is acting like a very badly disguised editorial writer again. On the front of Friday's Style section, she attacked Trump's fashions in Texas under the headline "Fashion crisis at the border." Liberals love pretending that Obama's only scandal was he once wore a tan suit. But criticizing how this president dresses is easy, low-hanging fruit. It's a yawn. So Givhan has to dress up the fashion chatter with screeds about Trump's fact-mangling and fear-mongering.
Before the analysis ends on the first Trump prime-time Oval Office address, we must recommend Mollie Hemingway's Federalist smackdown of pseudo-"fact checks" attempting to discredit Trump's speech text. She found most of the "fact checks” were instead "critiques of opinions." Many journalists critiqued things not included in Trump’s speech, and sometimes “fact checkers” admonished the president for saying completely true things.
The Seattle Times reports a staffer at local Fox affiliate Q13 has been fired after the station aired a doctored (and insulting)video of President Donald Trump’s primetime speech from the Oval Office on Tuesday. Local radio host Todd Herman was sent a video from a listener. As the Times reported, "The video was changed to make it look as if Trump was sticking his tongue out languidly between sentences. In addition, the colors in the video look more saturated, leading the president’s skin and hair to appear more orange."
The New York Times joined the rest of the liberal media in leaping on Trump's immigration address as "fact checkers." On Wednesday, a Times collective singled out eight claims from Trump....and only one rather flaccid mention of the Democrat response.
CNN often responds to Trump speeches with bipartisan panels of Trump bashers. On Wednesday's New Day, CNN contributor Marc Short -- a former Director of Legislative Affairs for President Trump -- launched into an attack on CNN's primetime coverage after the speech for inaccurately painting the Democrats as offering concessions on immigration. CNN host Alisyn Camerota spurred the lecture by asking a typical Trump-mocking question on Trump's promises.
Even when Donald Trump (and aides) precisely word an attack on a Democrat to withstand the "independent fact-checkers," they still find a way to suggest he "misleads". PolitiFact's homepage promised their liberal fans they were "Live fact-checking President Trump's address." They did not promise "Live fact-checking Democrat response to Trump's address."
The media have spent the last two years arrogantly proclaiming that they were the urgently needed public servants who would boldly challenge power and ask the tough questions. But does that boldness continue when the Democrats win some power back? It doesn’t look like it. Democrats can say the wildest things, and often, the so-called Courageous Media bends and move on.
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi and his editors thought it was a major media-ethics story that a reporter for The Wall Street Journal serves on a community home-owners association and has opposed a small local mosque's expansion of early-morning worship services over concerns about noise and parking. This is somehow a national-newspaper concern on the front page of the Style section about "religious intolerance" of Muslims.
NBC's Golden Globes Awards co-hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh sounded an intereresting note in an interview previewing the show for The Hollywood Reporter. Neither was interested in piling up the anti-Trump hot takes. On the other hand, they professed their deep love for the last two Golden Globes DeMille Award lecturers, Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep.
The gruesome murder of Saudi dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi shredded the idea that the royalty of Saudi Arabia should be praised for reforming themselves. Princes who chop political opponents into little pieces are not nice people. That said, puh-leeze stop it with the adoration of a man who deserves none of it. Politico ran a headline gushing “Jamal Khashoggi: The Free Thinker Whose Murder Shook the World.” It turns out he was receiving lots of help "shaping" his work from one of Saudi Arabia's enemies.
Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan was brought in after the House swearing-in to write about fashion -- well, not really. As usual, she used fashion as a subtext for her liberal politics. The new ultraliberal women in the House were all fabulous in their diversity of dress, especially Nancy Pelosi in pink, "like the plumage of a brazen bird, not just to fly with the flock but to lead it."
James Taranto, the man in charge of the op-ed pages at The Wall Street Journal, curated an excellent Twitter thread of media criticism on Friday morning. Washington Post political reporter Philip Rucker tweet-promoted a "good @AnnieLinskey & @daveweigel piece on the gendered criticisms candidates like Warren have to confront." Taranto's thread devastated the Post's liberal feminist hot take by using headlines about unlikeable male candidates....from the Washington Post.