The news that L. Brent Bozell, the ginger-bearded conservative ideologue who runs the Media Research Center, doesn’t write his own columns landed in Washington with a thud Thursday. Jim Romenesko reported that Bozell uses Tim Graham, the MRC’s Director of Media Analysis as his ghostwriter. One former Media Research Center employee reacted to the news with a deep sense of befuddlement, “I thought everyone knew it.”
Bozell was once relatively important in the conservative movement, playing off his connections to his uncle William F. Buckley, but in recent years he’s become a marginalized, antiquated figure. As The Daily Beast reported in October, the Media Research Center has been involved in questionable real estate transactions with David Martin, the organization’s vice president who actually runs its day-to-day operations. Aside from the MRC, Bozell’s sole means of maintaining his influence have been weekly appearances on Hannity and churning out books and columns under his byline.
Employees at the MRC were never under any illusion that Bozell had been writing his own copy. “It’s an open secret at the office that Graham writes Bozell’s columns, and has done so for years,” said one former employee. In fact, a former MRC employee went so far as to tell The Daily Beast: “I know for a fact that Bozell didn’t even read any of the drafts of his latest book until after it had been sent to the publishers.”
The Graham-Bozell relationship can best displayed in this book talk for the book that the two nominally co-authored in 2008, Whitewash. At an event at the National Press Club, Bozell gives an introductory speech but then has Graham come up to take questions.
In the aftermath of Romenesko’s report, Creators Media Syndicate, the organization that syndicates Bozell’s column has announced that from now on, Bozell will share a joint byline with Graham.