Eek! FNC's Greg Kelly Asks Isn't Media Matters Just Like MRC?

October 8th, 2007 11:04 AM

In a Fox & Friends segment on Hillary Clinton and her founding of the left-wing group Media Matters, substitute co-host Greg Kelly brought the fair-and-balanced mantra to bear by questioning guest Byron York of National Review about the Media Research Center, suggesting (to gasps at MRC employee breakfast nooks) that these groups are "arguably...the same thing." Luckily, York quickly made one important distinction: MRC mostly monitors "objective" media, while MMFA mostly badgers [and ahem, calls for the firing/censorship of] conservative talk show hosts and other opinion journalists. Here's the exchange:

GREG KELLY: I want to ask you about the Media Research Center. They, arguably, are the same thing as Media Matters, except on the other side. I mean, they tend to go after liberal targets whereas Media Matters tend to go offer conservative targets. Aren’t both sides? – both sides have a media watchdog group.

BYRON YORK, National Review: When [David] Brock made his pitch for funding, he said, look, we need to do this on the left because they have done it on the right for a long time, and indeed the Media Research Center is a conservative group that has done this for a long time. I think one difference that most observers would note is that Media Research Center has been very concerned with the so-called straight news coverage. I mean, they are worried what the network anchors say. What are in the news columns of the papers. Media Matters has gone much, gone after a lot of opinion journalists. I mean, nobody is suggesting that Rush Limbaugh plays it straight down the middle and is you know, a balanced presentation. He is a conservative radio host. But Media Matters has been hitting him again and again and again because they believe that Limbaugh has an effect on swing voters and independent voters that helps elect Republicans. If you take Limbaugh out, perhaps you could change that balance.

I've argued before that MRC is often misunderstood in relation to MMFA or FAIR.