Media Matters for America

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Media Matters for America is a far-left activist organization with strong Democratic Party ties founded by David Brock, created to censor conservative media through blacklisting and intimidation of advertisers.[1] Brock also works for American Bridge 21st Century, which he co-founded with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former lt. governor of Maryland and eldest child of former US Attorney General and US Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Media Matters claims its goal is to highlight what it considers conservative misinformation in mass media organizations. Primarily, they target prominent conservative public officials, public television personalities, Fox News, and conservative talk radio.

Within the 90 page 3-year strategic plan Media Matters distributed to its donor base and potential conributors, the document reveals that the non-profit entity has an enemies list which includes organizations like Fox News, Cato Institute, and Heritage Foundation. The list also targets numerous individuals and executives such as Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Peter Theil, and Richard Mellon Scaife.[2]

Further deviating from its tax exempt status, a recently discovered internal strategy memo from Media Matters Senior Fellow Karl Frisch to David Brock and Eric Burns, suggests that Media Matters "hire private investigators to look into the personal lives of Fox News anchors, hosts, reporters, prominent contributors, senior network and corporate staff,” as well as "look into contracting with a major law firm to study any available legal actions that can be taken against Fox News, from a class action law suit to defamation claims for those wronged by the network. I imagine this would be difficult but the right law firm is bound to find some legal ground for us to take action against the network.”[3]

Some claim Media Matters was instrumental in lobbying for the firing of Don Imus,[4] whom they considered a moderate for endorsing John Kerry for president in 2004.[5] Imus was targeted by the liberal left for criticizing Senator Charles Schumer and most notably, the constant rebuke of former First Lady and at the time Senator Hillary Clinton.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly took aim at Media Matters in March 2012 for their attack on Rush Limbaugh, calling their work "very fascist". [6]

Contents

Founding

Since 2004, Media Matters has monitored conservative media and attacked high-profile conservatives with provocative language. In addition, it is often accused of using out-of-context quote mining. It is headed by David Brock, a former conservative who claims he made up stories about such people as Anita Hill, who charged Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment during Thomas’s confirmation hearings. Brock developed a relationship in the 1990s with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's press aide, Neel Lattimore, and came out of the closet, announcing he was a homosexual and joining the liberal cause. Brock later hired Lattimore at Media Matters as director of "special projects."

Brock is a self-proclaimed fabricator of lies who strong-armed sources that didn’t agree with him.[7] While writing Blinded by the Right,[8] Brock was hospitalized in a mental facility where he spent time in a "quiet room" and "had delusions, he thought people were trying to kill him," according to the Drudge Report.[9]


In February 2012, The Daily Caller ran a story outlining Brock's "erratic behavior" based on sources within his organization and Media Matters' close coordination with the President Barack Obama White House and liberal news organizations.[10][11]

Brock outlined his lies and conversion to liberalism in his 2002 book, Blinded By The Right. He launched Media Matters in 2004 after conferring with Hillary Clinton.

“David Brock has invented a new form of political organization: a tax-exempt group that is subsidized by taxpayers while Brock gets to spew his hate/smears,” said Anthony “Andy” Martin, a journalist suing Brock & Media Matters for defamation.


Jamison Foser is described on the Media Matters website as having "served as Research Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for the 2002 cycle" and is one of several staffers with connections to the faction of Democratic Party linked to the Clintons.


Glenn Thrush of Newsday has reported very close ties between Brock and the Hillary Clinton campaign, noting that Hillary "advised Brock" on creating his organization. He added, "For her part, Clinton's extended family of contributors, consultants and friends has played a pivotal role in helping Media Matters grow from a $3.5 million start-up in 2004 to its current $8.5 million budget."[12] While speaking at a Daily Kos event; Hillary Clinton bragged about her role regarding [13]


institutions that I helped to start and support like Media Matters and Center for American Progress.


Media Matters and Israel

Media Matters has come under attack by the influential Simon Wiesenthal Center for supporting bloggers who promote "dangerous political libels" and "toxic anti-Jewish prejudices". According to the Center, Media Matters Senior Foreign Policy Fellow MJ Rosenberg "has repeatedly smeared Jewish groups such the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as “Israel Firsters.”"[14][15]

In a Twitter post by MJ Rosenberg, he called Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "terrorist".[16]


At a gathering of pro-Israel supporters held at the University of Pennsylvania in early February 2012, noted liberal Democrat and high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz was quoted as saying that Media Matters could cost President Barack Obama the 2012 presidential election.[17][18]


Media Matters and Gun Control

Media Matters is a staunch supporter of anti-gun legislation over the years and writes frequently on the subject on its website.[19] In fact, Media Matters has taken $400,000 in donations from The Joyce Foundation specifically for the purpose "to support a gun and public safety issue initiative"[20] Over the years The Joyce Foundation has actively supported gun control programs and has donated tens of millions of dollars to numerous anti-gun initiatives.[21] President Barack Obama served on the board of Joyce Foundation from 1994 to 2002.[22]

Ironically, recent reports have revealed that the personal assistant to Media Matters founder and Chairman David Brock carries a concealed Glock handgun when Brock goes out in public, so as to protect Brock.[23][24] Washington DC is known as having some of the strictest gun carrying laws in the United States, so carrying a legally concealed weapon within that city would be extremely rare for a private citizen.

The MSNBC – Media Matters Connection

Media Matters for America is a very popular source of information within MSNBC’s prime time lineup. Some might argue MSNBC is a defacto mouth piece for the organization.[25][26]

In prime time alone, since 2005 Media Matters has either been booked as a guest and/or mentioned on the network nearly 200 times. Media Matters has been particularly popular with MSNBC’s producers during the last 2 years. Below are some interesting tid bits about Media Matters and its growing relationship with MSNBC’s prime time programming:

  • 197 guest appearances and/or on-air mentions on MSNBC’s prime time since January 2005
  • Of the roughly 390 broadcast evenings on MSNBC since July 2010, Media Matters has either been booked as a guest and/or mentioned on air 26% of the possible broadcast evenings (1 out of every 4 days).
  • In 2011, on average, a Media Matters representative appeared on MSNBC at least once per week
  • Eric Boehlert has been the most popular Media Matters representative on MSNBC, accounting for 43% of all Media Matters appearances on the cable network
  • The Ed Show is the most popular show for Media Matters representatives, accounting for 72 Media Matters guest appearances since 2009[27]

In another connection, MSNBC and NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss is married to Afsaneh M. Beschloss, a Ford Foundation Trustee and Media Matters supporter.[28]


Financial information

In 2010, Media Matters for America raised $10,682,649 in contribution through its fundraising consultant Bonner Group, who also raises money for several George Soros-backed organizations such as The Center for American Progress, Center for Responsibilty and Ethics, People for the American Way, and American Foundation for Equal Rights. Media Matters total revenues for 2010 were $13,237,875.[29][30] For 2009, Media Matters of America showed assets of $2,774,565 and income of $6,711,993.[31]

Since its inception, they've received over $50 million dollars in contributions from several sources including wealthy liberal activists such as George Soros[32] and hedge funds[33]. Left-wing foundations have also been a rich source of funding as well, accounting for over $17 million in donations. Below are the list of foundations who've helped to fund Media Matters over the years. The data is culled from publicly available tax filings made by these foundations as of October 25, 2011.

Top Foundations Donating Funds to Media Matters for America Operations (> $50,000):[34]

Foundation Amount Donated to Media Matters
1. Bohemian Foundation $2,325,000
2. Ford Foundation $1,945,000
3. Dyson Foundation $1,450,000
4. Gill Foundation $1,150,000
5. Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation $1,125,000
6. Tides Foundation $946,276
7. Bauman Familly Foundation $600,000
8. Schumann Center for Media and Democracy $600,000
9. Leland Fikes Foundation $500,000
10. Silicon Valley Community Foundation $428,000
11. Gruber Family Foundation $400,000
12. Joyce Foundation $400,000
13. Marisla Foundation $370,000
14. Boston Foundation (aka TBF) $305,000
15. Lewis B. & Dorothy Cullman Foundation $300,000
16. Glaser Progress Foundation $300,000
17. Marin Community Foundation $300,000
18. Lotus Foundation $280,000
19. Dallas Foundation $250,000
20. Schooner Foundation $234,717
21. Mai Family Foundation $225,000
22. McKay Foundation $225,000
23. Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation $175,000
24. Johnson Family Foundation $155,000
25. Goatie Foundation $150,000
26. Pritzker Family Foundation $150,000
27. Wasserman Foundation $150,000
28. BayTree Fund $110,000
29 Kanter Family Foundation $108,000
30. Proteus Fund $95,000
31. Dwoskin Family Foundation $87,500
32. Barbara Lee Family Foundation $80,000
33. J.M. Kaplan Fund $77,500
34. Furman Foundation $75,000
35. Murphy Family Foundation $75,000
36. Sagner Family Foundation $65,000
37. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (aka RPA) $60,000
38. Wallace Global Fund $60,000
39. AG Foundation (aka Agnes Gund Foundation) $55,000
40. Lear Family Foundation $55,000
41. Barbra Streisand Foundation $55,000
42. Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (aka GKCCF) $51,000
43. Carnegie Corporation $50,000
44. Daniel Neidich & Brooke Gerber Foundation $50,000
45. Park Foundation $50,000

References

  1. Media Matters Facts, RushLimbaugh.com, Accessed November 23, 2012.
  2. Media Matters' Strategic Plan
  3. Media Matters memo called for hiring private investigators ‘to look into the personal lives’ of Fox employees
  4. How Hillary's Hit Man Got Imus, Cliff Kincaid, April 17, 2007.
  5. Video: Tammy Bruce exposes far-left outlets’ hit list on everyone to their right, FOX News, April 17, 2007.
  6. O’Reilly: Media Matters anti-Limbaugh campaign ‘very fascist’, March 23, 2012
  7. Media Matters: Defaming Journalists, Getting Sued, by Catherine Moy, Human Events, 05/15/2007.
  8. Slime-master: inside the `vast right-wing conspiracy' - Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative - Book Review, Christian Century, Nov 6, 2002 by Gary Dorrien.
  9. http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2002/05/22/20020522_143906_brockb.htm
  10. Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations
  11. Reports: Media Matters head coordinates with White House, builds super PAC
  12. AIM Report: Hillary's Hit Man Strikes Again, Accuracy in Media, June 19, 2007.
  13. Hillary Clinton Told YearlyKos Convention She Helped Start Media Matters" News Busters, October 1st, 2007
  14. Simon Wiesenthal Center: Time to clean up the discourse
  15. Democrats' 'Brain Trust' Hit by Antisemitism Accusations
  16. Media Matter's MJ Rosenberg tweets, calls Israel PM Netanyahu a "terrorist"
  17. Alan Dershowitz Says Media Matters Could Cost Obama the Election
  18. Reports: Media Matters head coordinates with White House, builds super PAC
  19. MediaMatters.org
  20. The Joyce Foundation 990 Tax Filing for 2010 - Page 130
  21. Joyce Foundation Program Grants: Gun Violence
  22. Obama Years Ago Helped Fund Carbon Program He Is Now Pushing Through Congress, By Ed Barnes, March 25, 2009. FoxNews.com. See also Enron scandal for information on carbon trading.
  23. Media Matters took $600K for gun control while carrying?
  24. Brock and the Glock: Armed men guarded Media Matters boss as he took $400,000 gun control donation
  25. Media Matters Propaganda Watch: The Tax-Exempt Research Department of MSNBC, Martin Bashir Edition
  26. Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations
  27. Search and analysis on MSNBC's primetime transcripts via Nexis.com
  28. It's Father Versus Son as Morris Beschloss Declares George Soros 'The Most Dangerous Man in America'
  29. California Attorney General Summary of Results of Charitable Solicitation by Commerical Fundraisers for Year Ending 2010
  30. Media Matters 990 IRS Tax filing via Guidestar
  31. Media Matters 990 tax filings, 2003 - 2009
  32. "Soros gives $1 million to Media Matters", Politico.com October 20, 2010
  33. "If I Take Down Fox, Is All Forgiven?", By Jason Zengerle, New York Magazine, May 22, 2011
  34. Guidestar database of IRS filings filed by non-profit organizations

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