Brent Bozell has staked much of his career on challenging what he sees as a lazy media establishment, all while reportedly collecting the profits from books and columns he never actually wrote.
Journalist Jim Romenesko reported Thursday that Tim Graham, the media analysis director at Bozell’s Media Research Center, is actually the one behind the columns and books, an assignment that one former Bozell employee described as “forced ghostwriting.”
But another ex-MRC employee told Romenesko that Bozell still collects 80 to 90 percent of the profits generated by the content. The Daily Beast’s Ben Jacobs followed up on Romenesko’s scoop by reporting that Bozell has been using Graham’s words for years.
On the heels of the Romenesko report, Creators Syndicate, the organization that syndicates Bozell’s column, announced that Bozell and Graham will share a joint byline from now on.
But when it apparently was Graham doing the writing and Bozell taking the credit, the column often lamented purportedly lazy journalism.
In January of 2002, months after 9/11, the column attempted to pinpoint the reason why the country was so unprepared for the attack.
As America grew wealthier and less vigilant, we grew lazy, focusing on petty agendas rather than serious issues. The “we” in that sentence includes our national media. While our military readiness was slipping during the Clinton years, the only defense issues that really attracted the network stars were the social ones: gays in the military, sexual harassment allegations at Tailhook, the adulteries of Kelly Flinn, or the medical mysteries behind “Gulf War Syndrome.”
A few years later, when liberal journalist Eric Boehlert provided Nexis results to challenge the argument that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates are never described as “social liberals,” a 2005 Bozell column dismissed the rebuttal.
“That’s just lazy, sloppy criticism,” the column read.
A 2012 column titled “CBS: Still Lazy With Obama After All These Years” blasted anchor Charlie Rose for his interview with the President.
But journalists weren’t the only people who drew charges of laziness.
Weighing in on the debate over girls competing in high school wrestling, a 2011 Bozell column opened with a groan toward America’s youth.
“It’s so easy to look at teenagers in general today and sigh,” the column read. “They’re more than a bit lazy, a bit spoiled and more than a bit morally compromised.”
It’s not that Bozell ever needed someone to write those observations for him.
The conservative firebrand has always proved more-than-capable of disparaging the press during his frequent appearances on Fox News, like when he told Sean Hannity last year that the liberal media is “dumb,” “lazy,” and “dishonest.”