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Media Matters Goes Gestapo Against Fox

From an amused Politico:

Media Matters’ war against Fox

By: Ben Smith
March 26, 2011

The liberal group Media Matters has quietly transformed itself in preparation for what its founder, David Brock, described in an interview as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.

The group, launched as a more traditional media critic, has all but abandoned its monitoring of newspapers and other television networks and is narrowing its focus to Fox and a handful of conservative websites, which its leaders view as political organizations and the “nerve center” of the conservative movement.

Somehow we missed where they ever criticized anyone not on the ‘right.’ But they probably had to say that to get their 501c3 tax exempt status as a ‘charity.’

The shift reflects the centrality of the cable channel to the contemporary conservative movement, as well as the loathing it inspires among liberals — not least among the donors who fund Media Matters’ staff of about 90, who are arrayed in neat rows in a giant war room above Massachusetts Avenue.

Can you imagine? And do they get healthcare insurance and a retirement plan in their compensation package?

“The strategy that we had had toward Fox was basically a strategy of containment,” said Brock, Media Matters’ chairman and founder and a former conservative journalist, adding that the group’s main aim had been to challenge the factual claims of the channel and to attempt to prevent them from reaching the mainstream media.

The new strategy, he said, is a “war on Fox.”

In other words, Media Matters is admitting that they are in the news suppression business.

In an interview and a 2010 planning memo shared with POLITICO, Brock listed the fronts on which Media Matters — which he said is operating on a $10 million-plus annual budget — is working to chip away at Fox and its parent company, News Corp.

You could feed a lot of hungry children for $10 million dollars a year.

They include its bread-and-butter distribution of embarrassing clips and attempts to rebut Fox points, as well as a series of under-the-radar tactics.

Funny, but we don’t recall any embarrassing clips. Or is this one of their rebuttals?

Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials.

It sounds like they are moving on from the left’s standard Brownshirt-like operations to regular Gestapo-style work.

It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Beck’s show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes. And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operation to help assemble a book on the network, due out in 2012 from Vintage/Anchor.

Brock said Media Matters also plans to run a broad campaign against Fox’s parent company, News Corp., an effort which most likely will involve opening a United Kingdom arm in London to attack the company’s interests there. The group hired an executive from MoveOn.org to work on developing campaigns among News Corp. shareholders and also is looking for ways to turn regulators in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere against the network.

The group will “focus on [News Corp. CEO Rupert] Murdoch and trying to disrupt his commercial interests — whether that be here or looking at what’s going on in London right now,” Brock said, referring to News Corp.’s — apparently successful — move to take a majority stake in the satellite broadcaster BSkyB…

We wonder if Mr. Brock and company have ever heard of the legal phrase ‘tortious interference’? By the way, ‘charities’ are supposed to lose their tax exempt status if they break the law, or encourage others to break the law.

But Media Matters says its digging has begun to pay off. The group has trickled out a series of emails from Washington Bureau Chief Bill Sammon, leaks from inside the network, which show him, for instance, circulating a memo on “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists.”

Hilarious. Is this the kind of "embarrassing" Media Matters does? Or is it a "rebuttal." In any case, it doesn’t seem to be worth $10 million a year.

The leaks are part of a broader project to take advantage of internal dissent, Media Matters Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt said.

“We made a list of every single person who works for Fox and tried to figure out who might be disgruntled and why, and we went out to try to meet them,” he said. “Clearly, somebody in that organization is giving us primary source documents.”

Media Matters, he said, is also conducting “opposition research” on a dozen or so “mid- and senior-level execs and producers,” a campaign style move that he and Brock said would simply involve recording their public appearances and digging into public records associated with them

Mr. Soros must be so proud.

After all, he got his start using similar tactics.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 28th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Media Matters Goes Gestapo Against Fox”

  1. I believe the proper term for this is ‘Progressive Fascism.’

  2. JohnMG says:

    …..”And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik….”

    Yep. There are a couple of houshold names for ya’ Just what they need to lead the charge.

    And Media Matters has a paid staff of ninety? Well, good luck to ya’, pilgrim. If Rupert ever decides to go head-to-head with ya’, best you prepare for an ass-kickin’ of epic proportions. Not to mention you’re going to need a fairly sizeable legal budget.

    So basically what we have here is another sham organization, flying under false colors, and using Alinsky’s tactics. What else is new? And what else does the left have? Having a battle of wits with them is like shooting an unarmed man.

  3. proreason says:

    sounds like some community organizing to me.

    Who on earth coulda thunk up this idea?

  4. wardmama4 says:

    I’m confused – a ‘charity’ announcing it’s plan to attack a news channel – for what reason? Media matters is a joke – worse even than snopes.

    But what’s the deal – other than Glenn Beck – FNC is so moving left it’s not worth wasting time much – other than sometimes being able to get headlines without opinoin – but I can do that on drudge without the commercials.

    Have to wonder – if no one listens to you (Air America, MSNBC) and no one reads you (Media Matters) – what type of effect are you creating? In the scheme of World affairs or things that matter in life – I would have to say nothing. The radio industry and/or America did not come to a halt when Air America went belly up, MSNBC did not increase it’s viewership when Olbermann went out the door, so other than making themselves look even more stupid than their usual rantings do on a daily basis – this little venture will accomplish a whole lot of nothing.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    I blame the Hidden Imam

    That said, we ought to take this seriously. After all, a certain “community organizer” blew right past us into the Senate on exactly these tactics, and from there into the White House.

    I wouldn’t take this lightly.

  6. canary says:

    Is that why Fox has been so politically correct. O’Rielly arrogantly playing the devil’s advocate. Geraldo (title now Fox’s new Latin correspondent) who supported Obama and continues to support Obama. Geraldo likes Obama’s smile. He did count how much the bombs were costing the U.S. over Libya, which is like Obama and Gates. The troops aren’t mentioned, it’s always the cost the budget. And Juan is more liberal now that he has his own show and not a guest. It’s all sides.

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