Conservatives continue to wage war over the future of the Republican Party, with Media Research Center president Brent Bozell and several other activists penning a letter discouraging donors from giving money to Karl Rove's new political group.
Rove has been the focus of conservative anger for weeks following the announcement of Conservative Victory Project, a new group he is launching with the help of the allies behind his Crossroads political groups. According to the New York Times, the group will seek to "recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts."
The letter, flagged by TIME reporter Zeke Miller, is signed by Bozell, Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer, Citizens United president David Bossie, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and a handful of other conservative activists who claim to represent "millions of grassroots conservatives."
Addressed to "Top Crossroads Donors," the letter rips Rove's Crossroads political groups for supporting moderate candidates and having "squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in what were arguably the most inept campaign advertising efforts ever."
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) bills itself as an event convened to "crystallize the best of the conservative thought in America" that will showcase "all of the leading conservative organizations and speakers." Media covering CPAC 2013 should know that the conference's speakers, from the most prominent to the lesser-known, have a history of launching smears, pushing conspiracy theories, and hyping myths about the validity of President Obama's birth certificate.
In light of reports that right-wing Media Research Center president Brent Bozell was called a "hater" for his criticism of Republican leaders, Media Matters for America recalls 10 of the worst examples of Bozell's hateful rhetoric.
A large group of conservative activists and media figures -- including CNN's Erick Erickson and WND.com founder Joseph Farah - have published an open letter to House and Senate Republicans threatening them not to compromise in any way with the "leftist agenda" of the Obama White House and congressional Democrats, as reported by Ari Melber of The Nation. Aside from raising the specter of primary challenges for apostates, the signatories insist that the election actually showed that America is clamoring for conservatism.
According to the letter: "In the House, the nation elected in 2012 one of the largest Republican majorities in the past 100 years. You have a mandate to fight for conservative principles that is arguably much broader than the one that narrowly reelected President Barack Obama claims to have for his leftist agenda."
"Arguably." Indeed, one could argue that the reelection of the House Republican majority supersedes both the reelection of the Democratic president and the expansion of the Democratic Senate majority. There are just a few things you have to disregard: logical sense, the hard reality of the tax situation, and the available polling that shows public confidence in Democrats and the White House regarding the so-called "fiscal cliff."
From the August 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Fox News host Neil Cavuto and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell castigated the mainstream news networks Thursday for not covering President Obama's speech last week, claiming "it took the networks four days" to "even mention" Obama's "controversial comment." During that speech, Obama made the unremarkable observation that business owners do not achieve success in a vacuum, but that public infrastructure -- such as roads, schools, and fire departments -- create a community that supports businesses.
There was nothing "controversial" about those comments until Fox News grossly ripped one sentence of the speech out of context then devoted hours of airtime to promoting the distortion.
In the days following Obama's remarks, Fox & Friends aired a deceptively edited version of the president's remarks to give the appearance that Obama had told business owners they didn't build their own business. The network eventually dedicated a total of more than two hours of airtime pushing its deceptively edited version of Obama's comments over 42 segments in just two days this week.
Cavuto and Bozell blasted mainstream media outlets for not covering the president's remarks for four days, ignoring the fact that Obama's comments were ripped out of their proper context.
But as Dave Weigel noted today, even the Romney campaign didn't pick up on the supposed controversy until after Fox News started pushing the distorted remarks on Monday. As has been noted before, this is part of the Fox Cycle: Fox News airs a distorted story, then soon begins criticizing other media outlets for ignoring the distorted story.
After Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion upholding health care reform, the right-wing media have attacked his conservative credentials. Despite experts' statements that the opinion might have cleared the way for more rulings restricting federal power and progressive legislation, media conservatives are using this as a pretext to demand even more conservative judicial nominees. There is evidence their pressure is having an effect.
According to the Media Research Center, the best way to "save America from socialism and economic run" and "expose an expanding plot to silence Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and all conservative media in America" is to send the conservative group at least $25.
That warning is detailed in a fundraising letter obtained by Media Matters detailing MRC's "Soros Project" which is described as "an urgent new special project of the Media Research Center."
The letter is signed by MRC founder and President L. Brent Bozell. It rambles on for eight pages and attempts to scare up donations for MRC by concocting a vast conspiracy involving philanthropist George Soros, members of the media, and Media Matters.
Both mainstream and conservative media outlets have responded to the recent spike in gasoline prices by circulating talking points rooted in politics rather than facts. As a whole, these claims reflect the misconception, perpetuated by the news media, that changes in U.S. energy policy are a major driver of oil and gasoline prices.
During a discussion of gasoline prices, frequent Fox News guest Brent Bozell claimed that U.S. oil production has fallen under President Obama. In reality, the opposite is true: after increasing every year since 2009, oil production is at an eight-year high; gas prices continue to rise because they are determined by a world market, not by U.S. production.
From the February 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Talk about throwing good money after bad.
Last week, cantankerous media watchdog Brent Bozell announced his group, Media Research Center, was launching the largest initiative in its 25 years history -- a $5 million marketing campaign urging the "liberal media" to "tell the truth!" Bozell urged Americans to stand up during this election year and "declare, once and for all, that the leftwing so-called news media are no longer going to pick winners and losers."
Featuring mobile billboards and "Tell The Truth!" placards, the MRC campaign is drawing inspiration from Newt Gingrich's candidacy, and specifically Gingrich's calculated pushback against the press. That crusade reached its peak on the night of the South Carolina debate when he won a standing ovation after castigating moderator John King for opening the debate by asking about allegations Gingrich's former wife had made in the press that week about their marriage.
Bozell soon announced Gingrich's primary win in South Caroline represented a "defeat for the liberal media." He urged GOP candidates to pick up Gingrich's anti-media mantle and to denounce the elites' "mission to destroy" Republican hopefuls.
All of this, as usual with Bozell, is a charade.
In fact, all that the MRC's new "Tell The Truth!" campaign does is highlight the dubious nature of the long-running "liberal media" bias production. The punch line surrounding this multi-million dollar marketing drive? It's being rolled out at the exact moment the conservative press is attacking Gingrich.
It's true. Last week Gingrich likely received better, or at least fairer, treatment in the pages of The New York Times than he did at The Drudge Report, which dedicated several days to posting a litany of harassing headlines and relentlessly targeting the former Republican Speaker of the House, treating him as if he were the political reincarnation of Bill Clinton.
It seems conservative pundits are the ones on a "mission to destroy" Gingrich's candidacy. But Bozell can't say that out loud because he has a phony, "liberal media" campaign to launch.
Fox News' animosity toward President Obama, three years into his presidency, is by now well-known. This is the network that routinely calls Obama a socialist, accuses him of being involved in all sorts of conspiratorial plots, and claims that he hates America. But, as witnessed Thursday on Hannity, Fox's attacks have taken an increasingly racially charged tone: Brent Bozell, who runs the factually challenged outfit of conservative misinformation known as the Media Research Center, likened Obama to "a skinny, ghetto crackhead."
Bozell appeared on Hannity as part of the show's weekly "Media Mash" segment to talk about purported mainstream media failings. After listening to a clip of MSNBC host Chris Matthews saying that Newt Gingrich "looks like a car bomber," Bozell responded:
BOZELL: How long do you think Sean Hannity's show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead? Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does. Everybody on the left would come forward and demand he be fired within five minutes for being so insulting towards a leader of the United States.
A few months ago, Fox's Eric Bolling came under fire for his racially charged criticisms of Obama, including his claims that Obama was "chugging 40's in IRE while tornadoes ravage MO" (which he later tried to amend), and that Obama was hosting "hoodlum[s] in the hizzouse" when he welcomed Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba and rapper Common to the White House.
These attacks have become a pattern at Fox News.
From the December 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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This week, the right-wing media began its annual fake "War on Christmas" campaign, freaking out about a bogus Obama "Christmas tree tax." Here's what to expect from right-wing media during the next six weeks.