Boston Marathon Bombing: Conservatives See Bias in TV News Coverage

Hardball Chris Matthews - H 2013

Hardball Chris Matthews - H 2013

Watchdog sites flag remarks by Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews and other hosts on network and cable broadcasts.

Conservative watchdogs say they're seeing liberal media bias in the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, and they're posting those findings online.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, for example, reporter Pierre Thomas reminded guest Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (which tracks hate groups) that Timothy McVeigh and Branch Davidian leader David Koresh, both of whom usually are cited as members of the far right, made their attacks on government personnel and property in April -- albeit years ago.

“For those who hate America and know something of its history, Monday had particular meaning. In Massachusetts, Monday was a state holiday: Patriots Day,” Thomas said.

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“The real Patriots Day is April 19. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States,” Potok responded.

The exchange (video below) is now featured prominently on the website run by the Media Research Center, a conservative group that seeks to highlight what it calls examples of liberal media bias.

Conservatives also are pointing out remarks made by MSNBC's Chris Matthews a few hours after the bombings Monday: “Normally domestic terrorists -- people -- tend to be on the far right – although that’s not a good category," Matthews said. "Just extremists. Just call them that."

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Also on Monday, Matthews alluded to early reports (later proved inaccurate) that the John F. Kennedy presidential library also had been bombed. “Going after the Kennedy library, not something at Bunker Hill, not something from the freedom trail or anything that kind of historic, but a modern political figure of the Democratic Party. Does that tell you something?” he asked NBC terrorism analyst Michael Leiter.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer also tied Patriots Day to the bombing. “One intriguing thought here … it is a state holiday … in Massachusetts called Patriots Day, and who knows if that had anything to do with these twin explosions?”

He followed with: “We don’t know the source, and we want to be cautious. We don’t want to overly speculate on what happened.”

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Conservatives quickly took to Twitter to complain: "Here we go -- CNN Wolf Blitzer blames anti-tax group or tea party for Boston Marathon explosion," said one. "Wolf Blitzer already blaming Tea Party," said another. 

See video below.

Blitzer responded by tweeting a link to BuzzFeed, which posted video of the CNN segment underneath the headline: "But he didn't. Here's what Blitzer actually said."

Also disturbing the right on Tuesday was Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore, who tweeted shortly after the bombings: “Tax Day. Patriots Day.”

“Taking a cue from CNN and other left wing propaganda outfits, Michael Moore is trying to blame the terrorist Boston bombing on the right,” interpreted the conservative site

At, writer John Nolte has listed his “Top Five: Media’s History of Falsely Blaming the Right for Mass-Murder.” Examples include ABC’s Brian Ross suggesting a Tea Party member was the Batman shooter in Colorado and the insinuation by numerous journalists that the man who shot former Rep. Gabby Giffords was influenced by Sarah Palin.

Politico's Dylan Byers dismissed complaints with a tweet: “Given how much they claim to hate it, it’s amazing how some folks on the right are thirsting for the media to make a baseless speculation."



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