MRC's response to news of Peter Jennings's death? Promote its political agenda

MRC's response to news of Peter Jennings's death? Promote its political agenda

››› ››› PAUL WALDMAN

The lead headline on the conservative Media Research Center's (MRC) website on the morning of August 8 read, "CBS, NBC Exploit Death of Ohio Marines." The MRC accused the networks of focusing on the deaths of Ohio Marine reservists "to prove that the Buckeye state has turned against the war."

But when it comes to exploiting death, MRC set a new standard.

On August 7, longtime ABC News anchor Peter Jennings died of lung cancer. The MRC acted quickly to put together a response. Words of condolence to his family? An acknowledgment of a distinguished career?

No. The MRC chose to use Jennings's death to advance its political agenda. This is what MRC vice president for research and publications Brent Baker wrote in the MRC's August 8 "CyberAlert":

The MRC's archive is packed with documentation of liberal bias from Peter Jennings, who was frequently cited in CyberAlert, but on this day after his passing we'll focus on how a couple of times he acknowledged the media's liberal tilt.

The column detailed a few statements Jennings made discussing media bias. Baker made sure to include an account of when the Canadian-born Jennings joked to David Letterman that his mother "was pretty anti-American." The MRC said this added "a bit of humor."

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