Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
If you read nothing else this evening, make sure you read the Daily Caller’s in-depth report on the undeniable collusion between Media Matters for America, the White House, and the mainstream media (specifically the Washington Post, the SF Chronicle, and the Politico – among others). Here’s a preview:
Extensive interviews with a number of Brock’s current and former colleagues at Media Matters, as well as with leaders from across the spectrum of Democratic politics, reveal an organization roiled by its leader’s volatile and erratic behavior and struggles with mental illness, and an office where Brock’s executive assistant carried a handgun to public events in order to defend his boss from unseen threats.
Yet those same interviews, as well as a detailed organizational planning memo obtained by The Daily Caller, also suggest that Media Matters has to a great extent achieved its central goal of influencing the national media.
Founded by Brock in 2004 as a liberal counterweight to “conservative misinformation” in the press, Media Matters has in less than a decade become a powerful player in Democratic politics. The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country. Brock, who collected over $250,000 in salary from Media Matters in 2010, has himself become a major fundraiser on the left. According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.
Donors have every reason to expect success, as the group’s effect on many news organizations has already been profound. “We were pretty much writing their prime time,” a former Media Matters employee said of the cable channel MSNBC. “But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff.”
The group scored its first significant public coup in 2007 with the firing of host Don Imus from MSNBC. Just before Easter that year, a Media Matters employee recorded Imus’s now-famous attack on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, and immediately recognized its inflammatory potential. The organization swung into action, notifying organizations like the NAACP, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, all of which joined the fight.
Over the course of a week, Media Matters mobilized more than 50 people to work full-time adding fuel to the Imus story. Researchers searched the massive Media Matters database for controversial statements Imus had made over the years. The group issued press release after press release. Brock personally called the heads of various liberal activist groups to coordinate a message. By the end of the week, Imus was fired.
As Michelle Malkin points out here, it’s not exactly a secret that the Soros-backed Media Matters is in so deep with the White House and the MSM – but the degree of their influence with the White House is of extreme significance:
Knowing how the messaging machine works is important. But I think it’s the policy coordination between Team Obama and Team Soros that deserves more scrutiny.
As I’ve noted before, several Soros-backed Center for American Progress operatives have traveled through the White House revolving door — subverting transparency, targeting conservative political dissenters, and crafting policies that undermine our economy and free speech.
How many more?
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey sees a different angle to the Daily Caller story:
The actual story here might be the reverse of how Carlson et al frame it here. This sounds as though the White House uses Brock and Media Matters to conduct a proxy war against its perceived enemies in the news media and to push its propaganda out through the MSM. The DC’s descriptions of attacks on reporters and media outlets who don’t fall in line would make MMFA a very valuable pitbull for Jarrett and Obama, and one with some plausible deniability, at least until now. This should really be the screaming red flag in the article, rather than some of the salacious tidbits about Brock.
Absolutely agree. After all, this White House – especially President Obama – proved long ago that they are not above using proxies like the Daily Kos and other high profile liberal sites and commentators (like Rachel Maddow & Keith Olbermann) to wage their dirtier battles for them, thus giving the WH the appearance of being “above the fray” and “above partisan bickering” when the whole time they were active participants … just “behind the scenes.”
Related to all this: Considering its’ all-out assault on Fox News and MMFA’s highly partisan political agenda, does Media Matters, a so-called “non-profit organization”, really deserve its’ “tax-exempt” status?
In any event, make sure you read the whole Daily Caller piece – it’ll remind you a lot of the JournoList scandal.