Monday, February 13, 2012

Color me shocked: Media Matters runs MSNBC

In the first piece of a series of investigative articles on Media Matters, the Daily Caller drops the bombshell:
Donors have every reason to expect success, as the group’s effect on many news organizations has already been profound. “We were pretty much writing their prime time,” a former Media Matters employee said of the cable channel MSNBC.
That claim, if true, is...well...pretty much what everyone, everywhere has known for quite some time now. Other dogs on the Media Matters leash include Ben Smith (formerly of Politico), Greg Sargent (of the Washington Post), and HuffPo as a whole.

The idea that many pundits are being led around the nose, are continuously parroting talking points they have received from others is nothing new, of course. Pundits on the right and left have been arguing that this is the case, even as they themselves often seem to do the exact same thing that they are criticizing. But the Daily Caller points out that Media Matters is in full  and open collusion with both the White House and the Center for American Progress:
Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.
There has been a great deal--to put it mildly--of criticism from the left-leaning pundits (and from some of the right-leaning ones, as well) on the SCOTUS decision in the Citizens United case and the resulting "Super-pacs" the decision has led to, as if some sort of mystical floodgate had been opened, allowing politicians greater access to more money from corporations and the like. But look where many of those pundits are.

Look at the Media Matters talking points page for the Citizens United decision. A few of the "points":
By declaring that corporations have the same free speech rights as people, the Court opened the floodgates for corporations to spend as much money as they want in any election -- all in secret. 
Our democracy was founded on the belief that every voice deserves to be heard. But with Citizens United, the voices of regular people are getting drowned out. 
There was a reason our country restricted corporations from using their money to meddle in politics for more than a century: to prevent corruption and protect our free and fair elections. But Citizens United undid all that.
Now, consider those complaints in the context of what Media Matters has done and is doing. It is--for all intents and purposes--running MSNBC. It's also directing the content of political pundits in various other media outlets. And it's doing all of this in concert with the Administration and the Center for American Progress. For the upcoming election, the Daily Caller uncovered the following:
According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.
All of this has nothing to do with the Citizens United ruling. Media Matters is spending millions and millions to influence policy and elections as a matter of course. It was doing the same long before the Citizens United ruling. But somehow, that's okay?

The entire piece at the Daily Caller is well worth the read, by the way. And I'm eager to read the next installment.

Cheers, all.

1 comment:

  1. The guys at the Powerline blog had noticed a while ago that the attacks on the Kochs from more reputable sources seem to echo the things written about them in places like Media Mattersand the Think Progress (or whatever it is called). They also noticed that the shoddy investigative practices seemed to seep in, too :)