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Role Of Media Matters In Imus Downfall

From the Wall Street Journal:


UNHORSED JOCKEY

Behind the Fall of Imus, A Digital Brush Fire

In a Blur, Watchdogs, Blogs, Email, Spur Radio Host’s Firing

By BROOKS BARNES, EMILY STEEL and SARAH MCBRIDE
April 13, 2007; Page A1

At 6:14 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4, relatively few people were tuned into the “Imus in the Morning Show” when Don Imus referred to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed ho’s.”

Ryan Chiachiere was. A 26-year-old researcher in Washington, D.C., for liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America, he was assigned to monitor Mr. Imus’s program. Mr. Chiachiere clipped the video, alerted his bosses and started working on a blog post for the organization’s Web site

On the morning of the original broadcast, there was little response to Mr. Imus’s slur. Media Matters posted the video and transcript on its Web site and sent an email blast to several hundred reporters, as it does nearly every day. The post received dozens of comments, many heated, some more than 300 words long. The next day, top news outlets didn’t mention the incident.

On Thursday, at about 3 p.m., NBC News President Steve Capus was conducting a routine planning meeting in his third-floor offices at Rockefeller Center when an assistant interrupted him to take an urgent phone call, according to a person at the meeting. On the other line: MSNBC General Manager Dan Abrams. Mr. Abrams said MSNBC executives were fielding complaints from viewers and employees who had seen a video clip of Mr. Imus’s remark on the Media Matters site, this person says.

The group is a Web-based nonprofit organization devoted to monitoring “conservative misinformation” in print, broadcast, cable, radio and Internet media outlets. It frequently complains about Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. Although the Imus show isn’t generally considered conservative, some of its guests are…

In Chicago, Bryan Monroe, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, saw an email sent by one of his executive board members at 5:06 p.m. “FYI — do we need to address” read the subject line. It was the Media Matters post.

Mr. Monroe, editorial director of Johnson Publishing Co. in charge of Ebony and Jet magazines, wasn’t a regular reader of Media Matters or an Imus listener…

A quick Googling of Ryan Chiachiere shows you exactly the kind of people who we are dealing with. Professional DNC hacks.

Among Mr. Chiachiere’s amazing feats is his “research” exposing Tom Delay’s many crimes against humanity. Or rather, inventing them.

But as we have noted before, Media Matters is supported and even staffed by Clinton cronies. So they would make natural handmaidens for such a deed.

Certainly Media Matters has been carefully keeping score:

Imus smeared Hillary Clinton, "that buck-toothed witch, Satan"

Wed, May 24, 2006

On the May 24 edition of MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as "Satan" 11 times, once calling her "that buck-tooted witch, Satan." During an interview with NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, Imus even claimed that Clinton was "worse than" Osama bin Laden, but then partially retracted his statement, saying: "Well, that’s a little strong." …

Imus has repeatedly and unapologetically referred to Clinton as "Satan," most recently during the May 22, 23, and 24 editions of his radio program. During a conversation with co-host Charles McCord and executive producer Bernard McGuirk on May 22, Imus admitted that he "wouldn’t have a job based on stuff" he had said in the past, adding that, however, he had never had to apologize for insulting former President Bill Clinton and his "fat ugly wife, Satan…

But of course Hillary’s grudge against Imus goes back further than last year. It probably traces back to at the annual DC Radio and TV Correspondents Association dinner 11 years ago.

Once again we are indebted to Media Matters for the damning quotes:

Imus had barely begun his routine when words such as "indicted," "subpoena," "Go, baby," "AstroTurf in the pickup" and "pot-smoking weasel" came spilling out of his mouth. The president and first lady, seated on the dais, were forced to maintain their composure in front of three thousand spectators and the television cameras. — Page 97, "The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008" by Mark Halperin and John Harris.

(What purports to be a full transcript of Imus’s dinner remarks can be found here.)

But now that Hillary and her cohorts at Media Matters have Don Imus’s scalp, they will be further emboldened. Indeed, as we have noted, they are already moving on to their next targets.

Still, are these really the people we want serving as gatekeepers of the public airwaves?

(Thanks to She_Angst for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, April 14th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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