Posts Tagged ‘Media Matters’

Last week, I was enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee while perusing my local New Jersey newspapers online.  That moment of serenity promptly evaporated when I was jolted by a headline that read, “Stop the Vitriol of the Right? A Lesson From the ACORN Tragedy.”

What?  This wasn’t the Huffington Post or Media Matters, it was my local NJ online news site.  After reading it, I initially dismissed the post, shrugging it off as an asinine tirade by the author, John Atlas, who also lives here in NJ and is a very active supporter of ACORN and hostile to any views that aren’t on the far left.  While I almost expected the lecture about promoting civility in the wake of the Tucson tragedy, it was the ugliness of his rant against the right and the stretch he made to connect it all to ACORN that befuddled me.  Nearly a week later, that post was still on my mind.

Then came the left’s latest meme against free speech, and this bizarre charade of hoisting Frances Fox Piven as their newest martyr.  Ah, now it made sense.

To start with, Atlas’ post was certainly interestingly timed. Just last month, he was making the rounds promoting his new book, “Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group.” In this interview below, he ends by saying,

“We need organizations that are going to give voice to the poor so that our democratic system works better, and that is the biggest tragedy. And to the extent that Breitbart and his gang undermine that effort, I think that’s a disaster.”

(Part 1 of the video is here.  Take notice of who’s conducting the interview, by the way.  That would be IndictBreitbart.org, the campaign run by Velvet Revolution. We wrote about them and their co-founders, one of whom is a convicted domestic terrorist.  The irony speaks for itself.)

Then of course, there is Tucson.

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[original post 11/20/2010]

The blogosphere is all abuzz over yesterday’s comments from Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, in which he opined about the annoyance of today’s cable news television programming.  Apparently cable news gets in the way of his desire for American citizens to do nothing but worship our government, rather than challenge it.

We need new catalysts for quality news and entertainment programming.  I hunger for quality news.  I’m tired of the right and the left.  There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: Out. Off. End. Goodbye. It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.

Many are making this solely about the issue of the Fairness Doctrine or of Net Neutrality.  And to some extent, this is true.  But there really is a much larger picture at play here – a transition period to government-run media.

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[original post 11/5/2010]

Last week, Drummond Pike took his FOX News fight to a whole new level, this time painting all of the right with a scarlet letter. Coincidentally, Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald had also published a similar piece in much the same vein, only a week prior.

In his opinion contribution piece to Politico titled “Why Does the Right Hate Soros?”, the founder and CEO of Tides Foundation pondered aloud the imaginary reasons he’s fabricated in his mind for the animosity toward the Hungarian born billionaire.

His conclusion? Because we hate immigrants.

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This is the typical left. When you don’t get the response you want, inject a new element of manufactured hate into the mix – when you can’t make it about race, make it about immigration. Drummond Pike even decided to step up the rhetoric, implying that George Soros is in danger because of right-wing media outlets and bloggers. But the sad truth behind this piece, behind all of these public letters, boycotts and petitions is that they are all coordinated, and they are all aimed at turning the public opinion against those who do not share the ideals of the leftist agenda.

Some highlights from Pike’s opinion piece:

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[original post 11/2/2010]

For the last few weeks, I’ve been finalizing some intensive research and was in the process of writing up a multi-part post that was to be published after the mid-term elections.  One of the installments in the series will focus on the left’s push for a public takeover of the media – touching upon everything from the historical aspect of traditional media’s financial collapse, to the left’s “Media Reform” project and “New Public Media” plan, to the complete portfolio of George Soros’ media investments.

However, in light of the most recent onslaught of attacks against Andrew Breitbart and the Big sites, I thought it might be prudent to extract a few different elements from this future series and publish an early post today.  Because given the concerted efforts to use a variety of media and advocacy outlets to manufacture falsehoods in an attempt to intimidate and silence the voice of conservatives, I thought it important for others to see how –and why – some of these media outlets are connected.  Because it extends well beyond Media Matters, NPR, and Huffington Post.

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While the debate continues to rage over the prospect of defunding National Public Radio (NPR) of its federal taxpayer dollars in the wake of Juan Williams’ firing, the left is busy tending to its strategy.  They’ve once again taken to opining about their Utopian notion of a national public media system, hoisting it as the antidote to partisan viewpoint peddling.  And by partisan viewpoints, they mean those that aren’t *their* viewpoints.

The left’s fantasies were further spotlighted by several recent developments in the media industry, only weeks and days apart from one another.

  • On October 2, NPR announces $1 million grant from the Knight Foundation
  • On October 7, Center for Public Integrity, an often cited source for liberal journalists, announces a $1.7 million grant from the Knight Foundation.  CPI has also received millions in funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, including another recent grant of $100,000.
  • On October 17, NPR announces a $1.8 million grant from George Soros’ Open Society Institute
  • On October 18, the Huffington Post announces the merger of its non-profit journalism arm into the Center For Public Integrity, with an additional $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for the merger.
  • On October 20, Media Matters announces a $1 million grant from George Soros’ Open Society Institute
  • On October 26, Google announces a $2 million grant to the Knight Foundation for media innovation

In the midst of this funding blitz, the left quickly summoned its boycotts and attempts at silencing voices against the right: (more…)

[original post 10/21/2010]

On July 17th, 2010, 45 year old Byron Williams was stopped by California Highway Patrol officers on Interstate 580 in Oakland, California for driving erratically.  A violent shootout ensued, and twelve minutes later, it was over.  Police had unknowingly averted an even more heinous crime before it could occur.  The police affidavit filed the next day stated that Williams’ intention was “to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at The Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”

The left-wing media immediately pounced on the story, eager to exploit the mention of the Tides Foundation, a frequent topic of Glenn Beck’s program on the FOX News Channel.  Since Beck’s arrival to FOX, he has focused in on the organization for its central role in pushing far-left policies and funding left-wing propaganda outlets like Media Matters.  The liberal media watchdog site has been covering the story recently.

In fact, Media Matters, which has received more than $2 million from the Tides Foundation over the last five years, has relentlessly harassed conservative personalities and organizations, especially Glenn Beck, often in what appears to be a coordinated fashion – and to the point of complete monotony.  Just search “Byron Williams” on their website – for the last week alone, Media Matters has made over thirty posts associating Beck with the Byron Williams incident, seemingly implying that Beck and FOX News are directly responsible for Williams’ actions.

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That’s why it came as little surprise Friday when the Tides Foundation released this scathing letter to all of FOX News’ advertisers, signed by CEO Drummond Pike.  It reads in part:

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[original post 10/20/2010]

It’s official.  There have been whispers in recent days, but George Soros decided to go public today.  He’s giving Media Matters a million bucks.  Why?  Because FOX News and Glenn Beck must be stopped!

In a statement released today by Soros and Media Matters:

“Despite repeated assertions to the contrary by various Fox News commentators, I have not to date been a funder of Media Matters,” Soros said. “However, in view of recent evidence suggesting that the incendiary rhetoric of Fox News hosts may incite violence, I have now decided to support the organization. Media Matters is one of the few groups that attempts to hold Fox News accountable for the false and misleading information they so often broadcast. I am supporting Media Matters in an effort to more widely publicize the challenge Fox News poses to civil and informed discourse in our democracy.”

See, now there you go again, George Soros.  Making FOX News out to be the evil (deceptively named) Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s 1984, pushing out packaged Newspeak.

As Politico reported:

Soros figured prominently in the conspiracy theory that allegedly drove convicted felon Byron Williams to arm himself and set out to kill staffers at the Soros-funded Tides Foundation the ACLU this summer.  Although Williams said he had first heard of the theory from other sources, he told Media Matters in a jailhouse interview that Glenn Beck was a “schoolteacher” who “blew my mind” on such topics. He told the interviewer to watch Beck’s June shows to get more information about Tides.

On Friday, Drummond Pike, the founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation, said “there will be blood on many hands” if the next assassin succeed, and called for a network-wide advertiser boycott of Fox News in response to Beck’s rhetoric. This morning Media Matters launched a website to join the effort.

Might we remind readers that Mr. Soros has donated money to, among many other organizations, the Tides Foundation.

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[original post 8/17/2010]

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A stinging report was issued yesterday by Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  The report, titled “Analysis of the First Year of the Obama Administration: Public Relations and Propaganda Initiatives,” outlines a host of propaganda activities conducted by the Obama administration at the direct expense of the American taxpayers.  It notes in part,

“The Obama Administration frequently used federal resources to promote the President’s agenda. In many cases, the Administration relied on the reach and resources of federal agencies and their personnel to promote certain of the President’s favorite programs. The White House also leveraged ties to the arts and entertainment community to embed propaganda in the content of television programming and artwork. These propaganda efforts violated appropriations riders and federal law prohibiting the use of appropriated funds for publicity or propaganda purposes.”

“The White House also used its inherent visibility advantages to multiply the effectiveness of websites containing misleading and controversial information. The White House used its resources to push visitors to websites that urge grassroots activism based on false and misleading information. The President’s right to sell his policy recommendations to Congress and the public is not disputed; however, using the resources of the federal government to activate a sophisticated propaganda and lobbying campaign is an abuse of office and a betrayal of the President’s pledge to create “an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”

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[original post 5/24/2010]

If you haven’t read by now all the headlines on this story, you’ll want to start at the beginning and read the first post, SEIU Storms Private Residence, Terrorizes Teenage Son of Bank of America Exec.  Because as each day passes, new facts are popping up.  The story seemed so outrageous at first.  After all, the thought of over 500 screaming and chanting protesters surrounding a Bank of America lawyer’s private residence while the man’s teenage son, home alone, hid frightened inside a bathroom – it’s just so extreme, even by SEIU’s standards.

I knew something was up when the following day, Fortune magazine editor Nina Easton, a neighbor of the targeted residence, published an account of the incident and was almost immediately attacked by what seemed like practically a coordinated dogpile of writers from several specific sources.

In almost mirror fashion to the Town Hall events last August, when both the Huffington Post and Media Matters seemingly tried to cover up and dismiss the violent acts that SEIU committed against Kenneth Gladney, the same players were again out in full force.  As our Larry O’Connor wrote, both outlets behaved less like journalists and more like arms of the SEIU press office, dismissing SEIU’s bad behavior and attacking an innocent party with fabricated conflicts of interest as a method of distraction and intimidation.

payne-podestaBob Borosage, Erica Payne, and John Podesta

 

And now we learn this:  Erica Payne, the guest who was invited to appear Friday on Megyn Kelley’s Fox News show and proceeded to blame the Tea Parties for the behavior of SEIU?  She was co-founder of Democracy Alliance, the very organization that spawned and is a donor to Media Matters.  SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger is also the Vice-Chair of its Board.

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[original post 5/21/2010]

Alinsky Rule #12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Nina Easton just became the left’s latest target.  Why?  So that SEIU can hide from the truth about its financial liabilities to Bank of America (more on that after the jump).

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Easton, a Washington Editor for Fortune Magazine, wrote a column early morning Wednesday, addressing the outrageous protest organized by SEIU and National People’s Action, where 700 protesters stormed the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.

As I wrote in my post yesterday, “SEIU Storms Private Residence, Terrorizes Teenage Son of Bank of America Exec,” Easton is actually a neighbor of Baer.  When she was startled by the loud, screaming, bullhorn-rattling protesters, she called Baer’s teenage son to check on him.  Home alone, the frightened teenager had locked himself in the bathroom.  After witnessing the entire incident as it unfolded on her neighbor’s private property, Easton criticized the SEIU and left wing groups in her article for crossing the line this time.

Alinsky’s Rule # 12 states,

“Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”

In almost coordinated lock-step fashion, the 12th Rule was promptly and firmly applied.  As Larry O’Connor posted on Big Journalism yesterday, a series of several posts soon followed the publication of Nina Easton’s article:

  • Late Wednesday evening, John Vandeventer of SEIU posted “Nina Easton & the Bank Lobbyists: Too Close for Comfort” in response.  Conveniently, Vandeventer distracts readers by recounting the sob stories of foreclosure “victims”, then quickly focuses the attention on Easton and polarizes his target.  He proceeds to play a guilt by association game to tie her husband to Bank of America through Business Roundtable.  You can read my post from yesterday about that here.
  • Then came Arthur Delaney’s piece from the Huffington Post, with the headline: “Nina Easton, Fortune Columnist, Compares Bank Protesters To ‘God Hates Fags’ Group.”  He ends his piece with a link to an open letter to Easton penned by Al Marshall, SEIU Local 1021 shop steward in Oakland, CA.  Marshall begins his letter by mentioning that he flew out to DC for the protest  from CA because “Wall Street caused” his wife to lose her job, and then him and his wife to lose their house.  (I’d like to know how he could possibly afford those plane tickets, in that case).  The whole tenor of the post is undoubtedly less jovial than his prior day’s, when he gleefully bragged about the whole event.
  • And then, the much anticipated and expected Media Matters post: “Attacking SEIU, Nina Easton fails to disclose husband’s ties to Bank of America“.

Of all of the responses, not a single one of the posts actually addresses any of the issues. None will account for the fact that the protesters were on the private property of a private citizen, though Vandeventer tries to rationalize their actions as acceptable because the police supposedly followed the crowd to the location.  Then, he paints the picture that Baer is lurking in the crowd trying to blend in; rather, the man was trying to get to his front door without creating a scene so that he could get to his frightened son inside as quickly as possible.

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[original post 5/18/2010]

People on the left are constantly asking Andrew Breitbart who funds his “operation.”  It’s grown to become rather amusing, actually.  For those of us who are bloggers on The Bigs, we know the truth, we see how things operate. We know there’s no giant conservative-leaning lump of cash greasing this machine.  If that were the case, I for one think Andrew would probably be home with his family even more, rather than traveling around, worrying about advertising or other ways of self-funding this little “hobby” of his, as the left often like to refer to it.

But let’s just look for one moment at where some of that line of thinking comes from on the other side.  I’ve written previously about the birth of Media Matters as a spawn of Rob Stein’s Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix road show, from which the Democracy Alliance was born.  It’s through this organization from which much of the organization’s funding had come; in recent years, more has been spread out across other progressive organizations, but the funders often remain the same names in most cases.  For instance, The Tides Foundation gave Media Matters and their Action Network over $175,000 just last year.  In earlier years, groups like Montclair, New Jersey-based (hometown of Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert) Schumann Center for Media & Democracy gave the organization $500,000.

The donors’ list is vast and diverse, and we plan to cover that in detail in the future.  So I’ll focus in on one set of donors to Media Matters, which is the Labor Unions.  More specifically, in light of some recent posts regarding the Kenneth Gladney incident, I thought it appropriate to revisit donations made to Media Matters specifically by the Service Employees International Union.

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When you look at the timeline of events and the media calendar in general leading up to the Gladney incident last August, it’s difficult not to conclude that there was collaboration amongst White House staff, components of Big Labor, and certain liberal media outlets.  However, we know that all will continue to deny it.

Further, just as the flurry of media activity finally starts to wind down a bit around October last year, this is when SEIU makes three separate donations to Media Matters totaling $50,000, under the classification of “Communications”, according to the SEIU LM-2 report. (In reviewing other LM-2s for several previous years, this appears at least to be the first time that SEIU has donated to Media Matters, and there does not seem to have been another donation recorded since these.)

This is the type of funding that I would question in return to Media Matters.  With their membership being so low and their unfunded pension expenses so high, can the SEIU really afford to be randomly donating funds to an organization like Media Matters?  Perhaps SEIU purchased advertising on Media Matters’ website, but then I’d think it would be categorized as such, as others ad expenses in the LM-2 were.  If not advertising, if not random donations,  then what’s the reason for SEIU having donated these funds?  One could logically conclude that Media Matters performed a service in return.  Only they can answer that.

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