Yes, It’s True: Conservative Warrior Brent Bozell Is The American Mamoru Samuragochi, “The Japanese Beethoven” Who Was Really The Asian Milli Vanilli

This, apparently, is the real L. Brent Bozell.

This, apparently, is the real L. Brent Bozell.

L. Brent Bozell, the outspoken head of the Media Research Center, doesn’t write the syndicated opinion columns that run under his by-line and has not for quite a while. Reporter Jim Romenesko did a little digging, and discovered that the red-headed face of the conservative group, a favorite guest of Fox talk show host Sean Hannity, uses Tim Graham, the MRC’s Director of Media Analysis as his ghostwriter, both for his columns and apparently his recent books as well.

Before the embarrassing deception was exposed, however—-Bozell’s special crusade is exposing and condemning dishonesty in the liberal news media—the company that distributes Bozell’s columns managed to expose its own flawed ethics as well. Confronted with Romenesko’s suspicions, Bozell’s syndicator wrote this response:

“If you know of one of our columnists who supposedly is not writing the column but rather ‘assigning an underling to pen them (an underling who is not credited),’ I think it only fair that you tell us who has been accused of this so we can talk to the columnist. Yes, we expect all of our columnists to write their own columns, though we understand that some work closely with researchers.

Once the evidence appeared too overwhelming to deny (as in “lie away effectively”)—-various Media Research Center employees confirmed that Bozell didn’t write his own copy, with one telling him in surprise, “I thought everyone knew it.”—the defense, predictably, began to evolve into “everybody does it.” Romenesko was told by Bozell’s staff that the practice of “people signing off on agreeable words written for them” was perfectly acceptable because…Obama does it! You know, that guy whose ethics the Media Research Center admires so much? “How many speeches has Obama written the last ten years? Should he have prefaced the State of the Union with ‘My fellow Americans – I didn’t write this?’” the reporter was asked.

But President Obama’s job isn’t writing columns and books (though, to give half a point to Bozell’s lackey, it does often appear that Obama thinks his job is just giving speeches.). Bozell’s reputation as a conservative critic and pundit is based entirely on the quality of his stated and published opinions, just as the recently exposed Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi was hailed in Japan for the popular compositions that he secretly paid another composer to write. Nor does the President pretend that he is the sole author of his speeches; the White House has never hidden the fact that it employs speechwriters. A ghostwritten column, like ghostwritten blogs and ghostwritten novels and autobiographies (and ghostwritten Pulitzer Prize-winning histories, like Sen. Jack Kennedy’s elaborate PR hoax, “Profiles in Courage”) are very different. They are lies, no more, no less. They are designed to create the illusion that the named author has wisdom, acumen, expertise and facility of expression that he or she may not have. Worse, such falsely attributed work diminishes the legitimate thought, skill, and labor of those whose books, columns, articles and blogs reflect their own output, and no one else’s.

Having been exposed as a self-made sock-puppet, Bozell’s proper place is ignominious retirement. I never had much interest in his opinions to begin with (though Newsbusters, one of his organization’s creations, is a well-researched if narrowly focused resource), but now he has been exposed as a poseur—a right wing, unmusical Milli Vanilli—and a hypocrite. Who cares what he has to say about the deceits of the left-biased media?

He fits right in.


Sources: Mediaite, Daily Beast, Jim Romenesko


24 thoughts on “Yes, It’s True: Conservative Warrior Brent Bozell Is The American Mamoru Samuragochi, “The Japanese Beethoven” Who Was Really The Asian Milli Vanilli

  1. At least when it comes to the book, I really don’t care – the number of ghost writers is staggering…

    The column I can’t quite let go of, and it explains why I’ve never quite liked the guy when I met him…

  2. So he wrote about liberal deception in the media while being deceptive in the media- OK, so he’s a hypocrite. What drives me more nuts than that, even, is the impending storm of Ad Hominem reasoning that none of the sins ferreted out in his column are actually that bad, because the guy who exposed them (or at least published his name to the exposes) was ghostwritten.

    • This is the Bill Cosby argument, which I agree with essentially, when his cultural critiques have been attacked on the basis of his own problems as serial harasser/predator. “I’m not the issue: is my message valid or not?” That places the matter in the same realm as the “value of art by a discredited artist” question raised in the linked post about the fake composer. No doubt about it: this revaluation about Bozell is already being used for ad hominem attacks on his columns. Mediaite described him as “Anti-gay” Bozell, as if his sockpuppetry has anything to do with the validity (or not) of what the sock puppet was saying.

      • In other words, it’s politics as usual, where anything bad the other guy says about you can be totally discredited if you can say something bad about him, because it shows he’s a BAD PERSON and therefore shouldn’t be trusted and cannot say anything worthwhile.

  3. I do wonder if Fox News will continue to put Brent on the air so much anymore, after this. Nah – they’ll keep him – erosion of FNC’s right-wing fan base can’t be risked, everybody does it, firing him would be racist…

    • Keep in mind that Fox News hired Geraldo AFTER Geraldo falsified a story about a bomb crater and was fired from his then-job at…what?…ABC, I think? So my guess is that Fox will continue to use his services. By-the-by, all that talk about the blondes at Fox? I got curious. Fox claims 162 people that they identify as “on-screen personalities”…55 of them are women (which opens up a whole different can of worms). Fifteen of those women did not have a picture to go with their biography, so hair color was not determinable. 16 were definitely blond, 24 were not. Five of the 24 had hair color that I couldn’t really identify, and the final authority was my wife ( who has rather pretty silver hair). Nothing whatsoever to do with the original post, but it was fun to find out and fun to share.

      • If Fox had fired Rivera, they’d have been accused (as usual) of being biased against left wing commentators. So they are pretty well stuck with him. Nor, “Dragon”, do I hear you protesting against other “bottle blondes” in public life… like Hillary Clinton? None of that has anything to do with the subject at hand, BTW. For myself, I’m damn disappointed in Brent Bozell for not being upfront about any contributions (to whatever extent) by a member of his staff.

        • Fox, like CNN and MSNBC, has a shady past when it comes to hiring untrustworthy commentators. There is never an excuse, for example, to give Dick Morris air time any where, on any subject, yet Fox did.

          CNN hold the current record for gall, though, by featuring Stephanie Cutter, Van Jones and Newt at the same table during Crossfire. Presumably Wasserman Schultz will be next.

              • He’s just one of many that I was referring to when I said they were out of touch. Ole Karl doesn’t have a clue what real people need and/or want. Dick Morris just never had a clue, period.

                • Dragon: I couldn’t care less if either of them know what “real people need and/or want”… as you likely don’t yourself. It’s irrelevant, in any case. We’re talking about their ethics, not their political stances. They may well not know the difference themselves. Obviously you don’t either, or you wouldn’t have made that comment.

                  • Ignoring the needs and/or wants of the electorate is, in fact, a matter of ethics, since it involves NOT doing a job that you were hired to do. And believe me, I am VERY clear on the differences between ethics and political strategy, since political strategy rarely, if ever has any ethics. See “The end justifies the means”. By-the-by, I suspect that I am a lot closer to being in touch with what real people need and/or want than you are, since I am one of them. But I can’t argue that as a certainty, since I neither have nor want any information about you, any more than you do about me.

              • That whole, horrible class of Machiavellian campaign strategists should be banned: Morris, Carville, Trippi, Rove, Axelrod, Susan Estrich, Donna Brazile…all dishonest, manipulative, unethical to the core.

                • I think the entire notion of “campaign strategy” (on any side of the aisle) by nature is the father of Machiavellian politics and unethical behavior.

                  It inevitably requires, not standing up for actual values and policies that further the vision of the Declaration of Independence, but formulating a laundry list of “here’s what we’ll give you if you vote for us” and “is it worth cutting off this voting demographic to buy the votes of this demographic”.

                  It’s offspring are division and distrust…

        • I have no problems whatsoever with bottle blondes, Fox blondes or any other form of blond. I have lots of problems with Hillary, but as I said that’s another argument. Fox would not have had to fire Geraldo, by the way, just not hire him. However, they hired Juan Williams so I guess it’s what is to be expected.

  4. I know or know of a few really honest people with integrity who I trust to be truthful and honest all the time. None of them are public figures. There is something about politics and/or media notoriety that either attracts the unscrupulous or causes unscrupulous behavior.
    Maybe it’s all the pressure to continually come up with interesting things to do or say or maybe it’s what got them into the public arena in the first place. Because of this effect though, I never believe anything media people or politicians say. This makes it difficult to chose a person to trust when it comes time to vote.
    Essentially there is no one party, person, or idiology with credibility. I’m edging closer and closer to AMS’s (aka Scott Jacob’s?) philosophy. Let. It. Burn. And the sooner the better.
    Has it always been this bad and I’m late to the party or is it actually getting worse?

  5. “I know or know of a few really honest people with integrity who I trust to be truthful and honest all the time. None of them are public figures.”

    I know one, and I married her. Seriously, I think Scott’s philosophy is not only accurate but necessary. After a while, you get to a point that the people in charge are so far removed from reality that it takes shutting the whole works down and starting over with new people is the only option. Regrettably, I believe that this is going to be so catastrophic we may not survive it, but clearly the folks currently in DC are way past that point, now.

    • What irks me in advance of the coming burndown is that so many of the corrupt power-wielders in DC will survive the burndown – by continuing to do exactly what they did to facilitate the burndown, to the expense and detriment of undeserving others – and will land themselves in comfy, post-burndown lairs with scarcely an inconvenience or interruption of their enjoyment of plunder. I want to see the rise of a great, global American Ceausescu Hunt that makes the post-WWII hunt for Nazis look like a third grade girls’ sleepover party’s neighborhood scavenger hunt.

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