When Media Matter’s mission to get Hillary Clinton elected failed miserably, the activist organization regrouped, gathering in secret to launch an all-out attack on conservative media for the sole purpose of booting Donald Trump from office either through impeachment or defeat in the next election. One of the main targets in that campaign has been Fox News, including a particular obsession with conservative pundit Sean Hannity.
Media Matters, under the leadership of Angelo Carusone, has been relentless in its witch hunt against the Fox News host because of his support of Trump and faithful grassroots following. They’ve pressured advertisers to pull from his programming, intimidating those who refuse to do so, and they’ve dogged him with hit pieces that range from dredging up alleged comments from decades ago to portraying his rise to fame in such a biased light that it should make any decent journalist bow his head in shame.
This won’t happen, of course, because journalists who peddle propaganda for Media Matters have no shame. They claim to stand for truth, but they propagate their own misinformation. They say they’re watchdogs for the American people, but they’re really wolves in sheep’s clothing. And as they engage in the character assassination of others, they hide their own hypocrisy in shadows.
Earlier this year, Media Matters founder David Brock, met with liberal donors to map out a four-year attack plan to defeat Trump and Republicans who support him. In that meeting, he presented a confidential memo in which he stated Media Matters’ ultimate goal: to “fight against any attempt to erode the cornerstone work and values of the progressive movement” and anything that opposes the “tenets of egalitarianism that must serve as the bedrock of our democracy.”
This, in a nutshell, reveals how Media Matters is no friend to America. Our country is not founded on Marxist, progressive, egalitarian ideology but on principles of liberty as framed in our Constitution. Regardless of who their target-of-the-day might be, the “conservative disinformation” Media Matters says it opposes is ultimately the foundational principles of Americanism.
In this war against our nation as founded, Media Matters has deemed all who oppose progressivism as “serial misinformers and right-wing propagandists” who must be “exposed” and “discredited.” To accomplish this, Media Matters says it will use all its power to make sure “Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists.” And “toxic alt-right social media-fueled harassment campaigns that silence dissent and poison our national discourse will be punished and halted.”
Notice how they use the terms “punished and halted” and how they are the ones who define “alt-right” and “media-fueled harassment campaigns.” Those of us who actually value the civil society prefer to challenge self-defined political enemies through debate and discourse, not through silencing and punishment.
This is not how the Left functions. They don’t debate because they can’t expose their true agendas. They refuse to engage in civil discourse, because it will legitimize their opponents. Instead, they act the part of revolutionaries in “the struggle” to defeat and destroy their political opponents. This is their goal—not the higher values of respect, discussion, and debate that strengthen the civil society.
“Trump has the legal authority, but we have the moral authority—and the moral responsibility to oppose him,” the memo says. Really? Progressives have the moral authority? Based on what exactly? Decades of ripping apart the fabric of America’s cultural and political landscape in the name of egalitarian ideals and moral relativism? Decades of pitting one American against the other through identity politics that divide rather than unite? Decades of growing centralized government to the detriment of individuals and families?
Media Matters and their merry band of progressives don’t have any moral authority or moral responsibility. They have a hardcore leftist agenda that has been sorely disrupted by Trump’s election, and they want their power back, so they can continue their trek toward Marxist dystopia.
“Media Matters will be vigilant in holding news media accountable for even the slightest bit of normalization of Trump,” the memo goes on to say. “To stop them, we need to become bigger and louder. Only through mass engagement can we halt their harassment and lies.”
If this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is—and they’re doing it loudly (which is another way of saying they want to shout down their opposition, not communicate with them). Is Media Matters really in a position to be the almighty judge of truth? Consider this statement in Brock’s memo in which he brags that one of Media Matters’ greatest successes in the 2016 campaign was the dissemination of an article titled “Hillary Clinton is one of the most ethical (and most lied about) political leaders in America.” Other posts they deemed a success included “I was one of the most ardent Hillary haters on the planet… until I read her emails” and “I published this photo of Hillary Clinton and the response was overwhelming.”
These are not examples of truth in journalism, but propaganda. To say Hillary Clinton is one of the most ethical political leaders in America is either a blatant lie or a disturbing case of delusion. So when Media Matters goes after conservative journalists and pundits for their opinions or even their journalistic failures, one must consider the real purpose of their opposition—it’s not truth but subversion and delegitimization.
This is evident by a joint report issued by Tucker Carlson and the Daily Caller in which they found that Media Matters was a politically biased information disseminator for the Obama administration that has been roiled by Brock’s “volatile and erratic behavior and mental illness.”
They also found that Media Matters uses willing journalists to do their bidding to spread their own disinformation. Such esteemed media types included Greg Sargent of the Washington Post who “will write anything you give him.” He was the “go-to guy to leak stuff.” “Jim Rainey at the LA Times took a lot of our stuff,” a Media Matters staffer said. “So did Joe Garofoli at the San Francisco Chronicle.” Others cited were Eugene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, Brian Stelter of The New York Times, Ben Smith, and pretty much anyone at Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Salon.
For those reporters who didn’t comply with the overlords’ demands at Media Matters, pressure would be applied: “Reporters who weren’t cooperative might feel the sting of a Media Matters campaign against them. ‘If you hit a reporter, say a beat reporter at a regional newspaper,’ a Media Matters source said, ‘all of a sudden they’d get a thousand hostile emails. Sometimes they’d melt down. It had a real effect on reporters who weren’t used to that kind of scrutiny.’”
There’s also Media Matters’ hypocrisy when it comes to the character of their leadership. As they dredge up supposed quotes by Hannity from 1989 about AIDS, even more inflammatory, bigoted comments by Media Matters’ own president, Angelo Carusone, are swept under the rug.
As reported by the Daily Caller in 2014, Carusone made “racist and anti-Semitic comments and disparaged ‘trannies’ on a dormant blog that he wrote just several years prior to his prominent liberal activism career.”
“Question: What do Robert Downey Jr. and a random Banladeshi [sic] businessman have in common? Answer: They both love transvestites,” Carusone wrote in a Nov. 14, 2005 post entitled “Tranny Paradise,” his response to an article about a transvestite gang in Thailand. Carusone objected to the article’s description of transvestites as “attractive” and made racist remarks about Bangladeshi men.
“Uhhh. Did you notice the word attractive? What the fuck is that doing in there? Is the write[r] a tranny lover too? Or, perhaps he’s trying to justify how these trannies tricked this Bangladeshi in the first place? Look man, we don’t need to know whether or not they were attractive. The fucking guy was Bangladeshi. And while we’re out, what the hell was he doing with $7,300 worth of stuff. The guy’s Banladeshi!” Carusone wrote.
“Shouldn’t the police officer give at least some details. Such as: stay away from tranny bars, stay away from places where Eddie Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. have/are visiting, don’t fucking kiss a transvestite, don’t bring a group of transvestites back to your room, etc…,” Carusone added.
In another Oct. 20, 2005 post, Carusone made an anti-Semitic remark.
“Thanks to my adorable boyfriend (come on, despite his jewry, you KNOW he’s adorable), my interest in Comedy Central’s hit TV show South Park has begun to pick up (again),” Carusone wrote.
On Nov. 18, 2005, Carusone turned his criticism toward “ugly” gays and female bartenders.
“Wednesday night I hit up the club 2686, formerly known as Luxe and for some odd reason still referred to by homos as Luxe,” Carusone wrote. “I went with my good friend Mike, who’s quite the badboy/notorious homo, although despite his omnipresence, he manages to live a reasonably drama free life. It’s almost shocking…”
Caursone’s “reasons not to go” to the club included “Bartenders are not attractive (*gasp* they even have some female bartenders)” and “Long Island gays are primarily ugly, except for a select few.”
Niger Innis, national spokesman for Congress of Racial Equality, wrote in August that he is “outraged by the left’s ongoing support for organizations such as Media Matters for America” because of the ugly reality behind the sparkling facade.
“It is appalling that the President of MMFA, Angelo Carusone, uses racial slurs and language that defames individuals,” Innis wrote. “How can someone who claims to champion the cause of those who find themselves the victims of such vitriol use such despicable language? How could George Soros and David Brock have ever selected this individual to be the face of their organization, knowing the comments he made? Carusone’s remarks are publicly cited, documented on news sites, and they spit in the face of all that MMFA claims to represent.”
“As an African-American and leader of an organization that truly believes in fairness, equality, and mutual respect, this is beyond the pale. MMFA should be held accountable for the words of their president, and not be heralded as stewards of truth and freedom. Angelo Carusone is a purveyor of hatred and vile rhetoric.”
Media Matters is not just appalling, it’s dangerous. The problem isn’t simply a matter of spreading propaganda in an ongoing war of words between the Left and Right. It’s the power and purpose driving a strategy to undermine a president rightfully elected by the people and to use attacks and “punishment” to “discredit” individuals who support him.
Whether you agree with Fox News, Hannity, or anyone else who has been targeted by Media Matters, you should be concerned by their tactics and goals. You don’t have to agree with conservatives or Trump supporters to see the dangers posed by a powerful organization targeting, labeling, and delegitimizing political opposition. When a highly funded group says it will hold “news media accountable for even the slightest bit of normalization of Trump,” we all need to be aware of the threat this poses to our Republic.
We’ve seen this kind of delegitimization campaign before to one degree or another. One of the worst examples was Lenin’s use of propaganda to discredit opponents. In 1917, a commission called Cheka was formed to combat “counter-revolution and sabotage” in Russia. The organization recruited local people to gather “information about organizations and persons whose activity is directed against the revolution and popular authority.” This led to the deaths of thousands as enemies were categorized and rounded up for eradication.
The Cheka wasn’t interested in what people had actually done, but whether they fit into a particular category of political opposition. Once a person was labeled, there was no hope for him to escape the consequences of that label—he would be hunted down and punished, whether he was actually guilty of anything or not.
The Cheka saw itself as an “organ of struggle, acting on the home front of a civil war.” It did not see itself as a judge of the enemy, but as a tool to strike him. “We are not looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question we ask is—to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, education or profession? These questions define the fate of the accused. This is the essence of the Red Terror.”
Of course Media Matters isn’t the Cheka, and they’re not hauling people in front of a firing squad, but they too see themselves as an “organ of struggle” and the tactics they use—and hence the historical red flag—are similar. They are a political arm financed to target a category of people, labeled “conservative misinformers,” who are standing in the way of popular authority and the progressive revolution. Media Matters will attack, discredit, and punish any they have labeled an enemy to their cause.
One of the frustrations shared among those who appreciate political dialogue and want to see truth separated from falsehood is the lack of honest debate and discussion in our society today. We don’t have political opponents debating one another on the same playing field with shared standards of thought and behavior. Instead, we have back-room meetings with secret memos and plans to punish the opposition. In this quest for dominance and defeat, the truth is the first causality, but as truth dies, so does the civil society and the freedoms that go with it.
This is what happens when radical ideologies supplant fundamental principles of liberty. Debate, free speech, and honest engagement are abandoned as the Left attacks and those on the Right begin to realize that we are no longer on a debate stage but in a war zone. In that space, conservatives can either fight or be defeated.
If you care about the preservation of our principles of liberty, you will push back against the propagandists and discern legitimate debate from radical harassment designed to divide and delegitimize. The Left’s goal to label and punish is a dangerous one. The targets might be distant today—a few conservative diehards and high-profile pundits—but the greater the success against these targets, the more power the Left gains in silencing all who oppose its progressive agenda.
This is why it’s imperative for conservatives, libertarians, and everyone on the Right to unite and support one another, for freedom, for the right of individual voices to be heard without intimidation and threats, and for free debate and opinion to be exercised without fear.