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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


September 18, 2012 - 7:45 am

The Daily Caller has obtained emails showing that the Eric Holder Department of Justice has regularly colluded with Media Matters to attack PJ writer J. Christian Adams.

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. (RELATED: Complete coverage of Media Matters for America)

Emails sent in September and November 2010 show Schmaler working with Media Matters staffer Jeremy Holden on attacking news coverage of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation scandal.

Holden attacked former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky on Sept. 20, 2010 for what he called an attempt “to reignite the phony New Black Panther Party scandal.”

Before Holden posted his article at 7:52 p.m., Schmaler sent him several emails with information helping him attack both former DOJ oficials.

The emails reveal a systematic, longstanding effort by the DOJ to use Media Matters to attack journalists who uncover stories and scandals sensitive to the department. Media Matters is a tax-exempt organization, supposedly engaged in education.

Adams is far from the only journalist to receive attention from the DOJ-Media Matters partnership.

Among others, Gertz sent Schmaler attack pieces he wrote about Townhall Magazine’s Katie Pavlich, who also authored a book on Operation Fast and Furious; writers Joel Pollak and Ken Klukowski; Fox News Channel’s William LaJeunesse, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Megyn Kelly, Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity; Sipsey Street Irregulars blogger Mike Vanderboegh; DirectorBlue blogger Doug Ross; National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy; and this reporter.

TheDC filed its FOIA request on Dec. 4, 2011 and the Department of Justice acknowledged receiving it a day later. The request, however, was not fulfilled until Aug. 30, 2012 — far outside the 20-business-day limit to fulfill a FOIA request under the law. TheDC was not given any notification of a time extension in the months this request sat before DOJ acted on it.

The public affairs office is not supposed to be a political operation. It is supposed to keep the public informed of what the Department of Justice is doing to enforce US laws. The actions revealed in the emails, however, show a clear and longstanding pattern of subervting that taxpayer-funded office to collude with a sharply partisan organization to attack the freedom of the press.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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