Internal Department of Justice emails obtained by The Daily Caller show Attorney General Eric Holder’s communications staff has collaborated with the left-wing advocacy group Media Matters for America in an attempt to quell news stories about scandals plaguing Holder and America’s top law enforcement agency.
Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
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A document the National Education Association filed with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 indicates that the teachers union donated $100,000 to Media Matters For America nearly two years ago, describing it as a payment for “public relations costs.” In the months that followed, Media Matters’ online coverage of teachers unions increased, focusing largely on attacking the Fox News Channel and other media outlets it considers “conservative” in nature.
The $100,000 payment was first documented in “Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind,” a book by Citadel international politics professor Mallory Factor published on August 21.
“[T]o ensure that NEA’s agenda makes its way in the media,” Factor wrote, “NEA has given $100,000 to Media Matters, the George Soros-funded liberal ‘charitable organization’ dedicated to targeting mythical right-wing media bias.”
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Since its release last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the long-term fiscal scenarios facing America has drawn a myriad of reactions from across the political spectrum. Liberals have said it shows we need to raise taxes, conservatives have said it shows we need to cut spending, and libertarians have said it shows both parties are corrupt and therefore Americans should support their movement.
These are all respectable, if differing, positions on policy and politics, and should be prominent in the coming debates over raising the debt ceiling, sequestration, the Bush tax policies and the Fiscal Year 2013 budget. However, these positions must be based upon an honest depiction of the facts. Unfortunately, one of the most prominent liberal voices in that regard, Media Matters for America, failed significantly when discussing this report in an article entitled “CBO Report Shows Stable Budget Is Possible, But Media Hype ‘Grim’ Scenario.”
According to its website, Media Matters for America is dedicated to “comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” In discussing the possibility of a stable budget, however, Media Matters has at least four misleading statements and analyses which – given its influence in the Obama Administration, MSNBC and elsewhere – are a disservice to the American people and to its declared mission. The statements are outlined below, as are the true facts surrounding the report:
Read the report and more here.
In less than a week, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s “Rush Babes for America” Facebook page has accumulated more “likes” than the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America’s (MMFA) Facebook page has accumulated in just under four years.
MMFA is currently waging a campaign to get Rush Limbaugh off the air for his comments pertaining to contraception activist Sandra Fluke. On Monday evening, MMFA’s Facebook had 57,687 “likes,” accumulated since the organization launched its Facebook page on August 8, 2008.
Also on Monday evening, Limbaugh’s jab at those who have demonized his rhetorical treatment of women — his “Rush Babes for America” Facebook page — had topped 60,483 “likes.” Limbaugh’s group was open for public viewing just prior to the beginning of his radio program on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
In addition to the $100,000 MMFA has spent on anti-Limbaugh radio ads, the group has teamed up with the National Organization for Women to campaign, protest and convince local advertisers and Limbaugh affiliates to drop the show.
Last month MMFA decried that Limbaugh has called more than 61 women “babes.”
“[S]exism has been part of Limbaugh’s show for decades. While (comparatively) not as overt as his attacks on Fluke, for years Limbaugh has labeled various women in politics and media with dismissive, sexist terms,” Ben Dimiero wrote at MMFA. “Female professors are ‘professorettes.’ Sen. Claire McCaskill is a ‘senatorette.’ Female reporters and news anchors are ‘anchorettes’ and, much more frequently, ‘infobabes.’ In fact, calling women ‘babe’ has become something of a calling card for Limbaugh. Not only does he use the term to describe countless women in media and politics, but he also uses it for female listeners; his online store sells ‘Rush Babe On Board’ stickers for cars.”
Limbaugh launched “Rush Babes for America” in order to show that women hold a diverse range of viewpoints, including conservative.
Read more here.
Media Matters is a left-wing political operation created to censor conservative media through blacklisting and intimidation of advertisers.
Their model is to create and distribute untrue statements about conservative media, and then use threats of boycotts and business interference to demand that advertisers repudiate programs they target.
Founded by David Brock, Media Matters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, amidst a growing recognition that its true purpose is political, and increasing demands for it to be treated as a taxable entity in accordance with that.
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A reporter for the Washington Free Beacon said Friday the Department of Justice referred him to the left-leaning Media Matters in response to an inquiry about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
CJ Ciaramella was inquiring about claims in a new book by conservative commentator Katie Pavlich suggesting an FBI cover-up of a weapon found at the scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death.
The email Ciaramella said he received in reply from a Department of Justice spokeswoman stated she “was told to direct your questions to the FBI, and also to provide you with a link to this story: http://mediamatters.org/research/201204190011.”
Read more here.
Media Matters for America has made no bones about its stance on social and political issues. While the organization claims that it is continuously “monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media,” its targets, at least according to official Internal Revenue Service documents, are specific: businesses, wealthy Americans and right-leaning Christians.
In the group’s tax-exempt application, which was requested and acquired by The Daily Caller, progressive non-profit made its intentions clear.
“Media Matters for America (MMA) believes that news reporting and analysis by the American media, with its eye on profit margin and preservation of the status quo, has become biased,” reads the application. “It is common for news and commentary by the press to present viewpoints that tend to overly promote corporate interests, the rights of the wealthy, and a conservative, Christian-influenced ideology.”
In terms of the more general charge that the media are widely conservative, this contradicts nearly every study conducted on media messaging. Overwhelmingly, outlets, newspapers — practically every form of the press — has been found to have a leftist slant (at least in the eyes of the American public).
“The majority of Americans (60%) also continue to perceive bias, with 47% saying the media are too liberal and 13% saying they are too conservative,” Gallup reported back in 2011. “The percentage of Americans who say the media are ‘just about right’ edged up to 36% this year but remains in the range Gallup has found historically.”
Read more here.