(CNSNews.com) - Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III laid down the gauntlet to the news media on Thursday over their coverage of the 2012 presidential race: Tell the truth about the candidates, or be exposed.
“It’s 2012, and already we’ve documented endless examples of the so-called ‘news media’ covering up the failures of the Obama presidency and attacking every conservative presidential candidate one by one by one,” Bozell said.
“These attacks, just as we predicted, aren’t based on policy debates, they’re personal," he said, "an onslaught of character assassination against anyone who dares to challenge Obama.”
Bozell announced the start of the “Tell the Truth 2012 Campaign” – a $5 million campaign to document and expose liberal media bias and its role in the 2012 presidential election.
“It’s time for Americans to declare once and for all that the left wing so-called ‘news media’ are no longer going to pick winners and losers," he said. "It’s time for Americans to demand of our news media that they return to the business of reporting – accurately, fairly, honestly.”
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During a telephone news conference, Bozell cited numerous examples of what he called media bias against GOP presidential candidates.
“It happened with Sarah Palin while she was thinking about running,” Bozell said. “It happened with Michele Bachmann, the way the media just slaughtered her.
“It happened with Herman Cain--a hundred stories on the networks about his alleged dalliances, before a single source came forward," he said.
Bozell continued: “It happened with Rick Perry with the stories about the rock on the ranch that his family once hunted on in the 1980s--and the countless other stories about him.
“It’s happened with Rick Santorum with these stories about his wife and who she dated before they were even a couple. It’s happened with Newt Gingrich--we saw it in spades how it happened and continues to happen with Newt Gingrich.”
Bozell challenged the news media to be fair and even-handed: If reporters are going to ask tough questions, then they should ask them of both sides in the election.
“Who was Michelle Obama sleeping with before Barack Obama? If you think that's an outrageous question--and I'd agree--then why did you ask it about Mrs. Santorum?" Bozell asked.
“What we’ve said as an organization is: Enough is enough!” said Bozell. In a video announcement he also commented on how liberal bias is hurting some of the dominant media.
"In short, this is our message to the left-wing so-called news media: To the degree you try to tilt this election, we'll be there documenting, exposing, and neutralizing your efforts," he said. "The reason you're losing your audiences by the millions is because of your bias. You may continue at your own peril. Fasten your seatbelt, folks, we're coming after you."
The media watchdog pointed to what happened during the CNN Republican presidential debate when candidate Newt Gingrich scolded CNN’s John King for starting the South Carolina debate by asking Gingrich questions about his personal life and an interview of Gingrich’s ex-wife which had aired on ABC just before the primary.
“What happened in South Carolina was amazing,” said Bozell. “One of the candidates finally confronted the media on its blatant bias, and the American people stood up and cheered."
Bozell said the public is fed up with the agenda of many reporters.
“Which is why you saw them erupt with two standing ovations when Newt Gingrich stood up to John King and CNN,” he said
The liberals have been doing their best to influence elections for many years, Bozell said, and what’s happening in 2012 is not any different than what happened in 2008.
“In 2008, we made the statement at the start of the campaign that the national ‘news’ media were going to be 100 percent invested in the election of Barack Obama," said Bozell. "And I don’t think anyone can dispute that, or at least dispute it with a straight face. That is precisely what happened."
“John McCain wasn’t a threat, so the coverage of John McCain wasn’t really that negative," the MRC president said. "But (coverage) of his running mate, it was horrific. And the coverage of Barack Obama was 100 percent positive. And I think it had an impact in what was otherwise a close race."
The Tell the Truth 2012 campaign involves a $2.5 million advertising budget, which includes ads on radio, billboards, TV and online publications.
“Our goal is not – and I underscore this – our goal is not to do what they do, which is to attempt to elect or defeat a candidate," said Bozell. "We want a level playing field. We want the rules to apply to both sides. If you are going to have hard-hitting investigative reporting on one side, perfect. Then have hard-hitting investigative reporting on the other. If you’re going to pitch softballs at one, pitch softballs at the other. But don’t mix-up the two, as you’ve been doing.”
Bozell said hundreds of thousands of "I Don't Believe the Liberal Media!" bumper stickers, buttons and signs will be distributed, and the MRC’s 1 million Facebook fans and 65,000 Twitter followers will also be activated.