Saturday, September 21, 2013

#717: Tim Graham

The Media Research Center (MRC) is a self-proclaimed “media watchdog” founded by Brent Bozell. The “Research” part of the name means what wingnut crackpots think that “research” means, which is not research. Indeed, according to their own mission statement, the “mission of the Media Research Center is to bring balance to the news media,” which they perceive to be biased in favor of reality and a liberal outlook. (How wingnut are they? This wingnut.) Graham is their director of media analysis, which means that he combats things in the media that could conceivably be taken to recommend other courses of action than the ones he favors. His primary outlet is Newsbusters, but he has also written a book (with Bozell) about “the history of Hillary Clinton’s promotional treatment by the news media” called Whitewash, as well as Pattern of Deception: The Media’s Role in the Clinton Presidency.

His outlook on, well, matters, and the general outlook of MRC, is well illustrated by what he apparently means by “fair and balanced” here. When Katie Couric asserted, platitudinously, that it’s important to teach tolerance of “people who are different” at a “very early age,” Graham concluded that it was impossible to expect a fair and balanced perspective from her. In other words, in order to be fair and balanced one must also suggest the value of treating “people who are different” badly. In a similar vein, Graham has demanded that the media need to give more space to ex-gays and the belief that “people can choose their sexuality", because the point of being fair and balanced is precisely to avoid giving reality and accuracy any privileged place. (Of course, it isn’t really even about balance; Graham and the MRC are firmly on the record lamenting “gay propaganda” and that media give time to gay people at all. He also called Obama’s support of gay marriage “tragic,” “dark” and “depressing moment” for America, and lamenting, completely out of touch with anything resembling reality, that those who disagreed with Obama were denied media time to disagree with him. It is not only the gays, though).

He is of course also a hardcore climate change denialist. Given Graham’s entrenched inability to distinguish science and reality, on the one hand, and politics, on the other, this is not particularly surprising.

Here is Graham finding liberal bias in obituaries.

Diagnosis: That last example should really illustrate pretty well how far out of touch with reality wingnut partisanship can take you. I am, however, sure that a lot of people nods in agreement with Graham’s paranoid drivel, which does not reflect well on them.

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