More unintentional comedy from Newsbusters

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

It seems like every day the good folks over at the Media Research Center give us something new to laugh at. Today, it's the latest in their increasingly comical obsession with George Stephanopoulos.

When we last checked in on their crusade to get the ABC host fired for having conversations with longtime friends, MRC's Brent Bozell was making a fool of himself by bellowing that the network had refused to comment on Stephanopoulos' phone calls. What was wrong with Bozell's claim? Well, ABC had, in fact publicly commented on the matter ... and, it turns out, they had reached out to MRC employees, and given an on-the-record comment to an MRC subsidiary, which then spiked the article in question -- probably so they wouldn't undermine Bozell's claims that ABC refused to talk.

ConWebWatch has details on MRC's efforts to spin themselves out of that mess.

Today, MRC announced on its Newsbusters blog that "MRC has released a new Profile in Bias for the "This Week" host." And what do they choose to highlight as the definitive evidence of Stephanopoulos' "bias"? Take a look:

"[I]n his on-air role at ABC, Stephanopoulos has been a reliable mouthpiece for the Democratic spin of the day — using his perch as an analyst and correspondent to add an extra boost to liberals, undermine conservatives and push a liberal policy agenda," the profile notes before listing scores of examples, such this one from March 18, 2008, wherein Stephanopoulos lauded Obama for refusing to castigate his former pastor:

By refusing to renounce Reverend Wright, that was in many ways an act of honor for Senator Obama.

Now, here's the full Stephanopoulos quote in question:

I think it's enough to reassure the relatively affluent, liberals and independents, who are already with Barack Obama. They might have been worried, but this reassured them. He's been having a bigger problem with white, working-class voters. And the problem - the fact that Senator Obama sat in those pews for 20 years is not going to sit well with them. A speech probably can't solve that. But also, Charlie, this speech today, by refusing to renounce Reverend Wright, that was, in many ways, an act of honor, for Senator Obama. And it's hard to know how that's going to play out with voters, but it has to count for something.

That's right: Stephanopoulos said Obama was having a "bigger problem with white, working class voters" who were unhappy that he "sat in those pews for 20 years" and didn't solve the problem with a speech. Now, does that really sound like Stephanopoulos was acting as a "reliable mouthpiece for the Democratic spin of the day"? Of course not. You'd have to be paranoid, or intentionally dishonest, to describe that as shilling for Obama.

What's even more pathetic about MRC's use of that Stephanopoulos line to prove his supposed liberal bias is that it came right around the time the ABC host was asking questions of Obama on behalf of Sean Hannity. Stephanopoulos' handling of that debate came under withering criticism from a variety of observers who thought he and debate co-moderator Charlie Gibson obsessed over trivia and were unduly harsh on Obama.

At this point, I can only assume MRC is actively trying to discredit themselves.

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