Reports that David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America, is now taking over Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and incorporating it into his illiberal empire would have come as no surprise to Andrew Breitbart. Brock, whose Media Matters outfit has marginalized itself as it moved from correcting to censoring conservative media, no doubt has designs on framing the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton’s benefit.
Andrew Breitbart would have noted something else–namely, confirmation of CREW’s partisan nature. Though it is described as a “leading watchdog group” by Politico’s Ken Vogel, in fact CREW has often operated as a front for the Democratic Party. CREW formed during the Bush administration and has been notably less vocal during the Obama administration, often targeting members of the opposition instead of the government.
CREW is also indirectly responsible for the Obama White House’s false claims to be the “most transparent administration” ever, despite its relentless pursuit and manipulation of the press, its stubborn refusal to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and its bullying of whistleblowers.
That claim arises from the release of White House guest logs, under the direction of CREW co-founder (and Obama bundler) Norm Eisen.
The White House has often trumpeted the release of the guest logs as proof of its openness. Yet it has hidden many of its more important meetings offsite. And as Breitbart wrote in a March 2011 article, “The White House Guess List,” the logs “may hide more than they reveal,” because the Obama administration refused to verify whether any particular individual listed in the logs was actually who they seemed to be–whether a “Bertha Lewis,” for example, was the Bertha Lewis, CEO of the infamous community organizing group ACORN.
Eisen moved on from his job as “ethics czar”–rewarded, ironically, with a plum ambassadorship in Prague, a typical prize for those who fundraised their way into Obama’s inner circle. CREW’s politics drifted further left, and the White House’s boasts of transparency became more of a joke–even among the media and the left.
Vogel writes that under Brock, CREW “will add a more politically oriented arm, expand its focus into state politics and donor targeting and will operate in close coordination with Brock’s growing fleet of aggressive Democrat-backing nonprofits and super PACs–Media Matters, American Bridge and the American Independent Institute.”
In fact, the organization is merely formalizing what Breitbart suspected years ago.