Monday, May 18, 2015

Jeffrey Meyer: Don't Believe Your Lying Eyes Redux

MRC Watch Dept. - Last week, when Republican strategist Steve Schmidt noted that 'real voters worried about real issues' don’t care about how often a candidate talks to the traveling press corps and Tim Graham of the Media Research Center tried to transform this into some sort of attack on critics of Hillary Clinton, all the while quoting the actual Schmidt comments, thus discrediting that contention. Graham's message to his readers: listen to me and don't believe your lying eyes. Today, Jeffrey Meyer is playing the same game. By Meyer's imaginative account (appearing under the headline "Cokie Roberts Eagerly Defends Hillary's Press Blackout"), Cokie Roberts, during Sunday's edition of ABC's This Week, ""rushed to defend Hillary Clinton for continuing to not answer questions from the press in the month since she announced her presidential campaign." The basis for this? After some tape of criticism by Republican candidates criticizing Clinton for ducking the press, Roberts said:
"I don't think anybody votes on whether a candidate answers questions or not. [crosstalk] [S]he's, at some point, going to have to engage, absolutely. She's -- she can't just keep doing this. But I don't think it's going to -- she's going to do it exactly how she wants to do it."
Meyer broke this comment in two at the crosstalk and of the latter portion -- the "she can't keep doing this" portion --wrote "Roberts continued to dismiss the need for Hillary to talk to the press..."

He continued to drive home this misrepresentation: "While Roberts was quick to protect Clinton from any criticism, the rest of the This Week panel harshly scolded the Democrat..."

As if perpetuating a running joke, Meyer also referred to Graham's don't-believe-your-lying-eyes attack on Schmidt:
"Roberts' eagerness to excuse Clinton’s media blackout sounded almost identical to comments made by Republican strategist Steve Schmidt during an appearance he made on NPR’s Morning Edition on May 13... [W]hen Cokie Roberts offered up a similar defense of Mrs. Clinton she was met with unanimous skepticism from the entire This Week panel."
Following in Graham's footsteps, Meyer's quotation of Roberts makes clear his characterization is baseless -- Roberts makes no hint of any defense of Clinton, eager or otherwise -- and just to hammer home the point, Meyer not only tacks on a cut-and-paste of the full relevant portion of the transcript from This Week, he also includes the video of the incident.

That the MRC finds it necessary to engage in this sort of nonsense in order to try to substantiate their overarching claim of a "liberal media" has implications upon that claim that are obvious, but the question also arises, are the MRC writers just really stupid or do they believe their very conservative audience to be so? Or both?


[This article was written for MRC Watch, a blog where, contrary to the exhortations of the Media Research Center, we do believe our eyes when there isn't any reason not to do so.]

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