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MMFA Propaganda Watch: Hypocrisy, Double Standards, and Senior Fellows


We’ve been highlighting how Media Matters For America is really just a conveniently tax-exempt political operation and propaganda factory for Democrats. Their status as a taxpayer subsidized 501(c)(3) may be in jeopardy, but in the meantime, we will continue to provide the evidence proving they’re not who they claim to be to the IRS.

The latest example comes from the unironically titled Senior Fellow, Eric Boehlert. It seems he has major issues with someone leaking critical Obama re-election campaign strategy to Politico. The website posted an article where they cite numerous Democratic campaign sources who provided details into what the Obama campaign is planning for 2012.

Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early-stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.

The dramatic and unabashedly negative turn is the product of political reality. Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job, and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for reelection in a glum nation. And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.

This set Boehlert into a tizzy.

This first tweet appears to be based off of nothing but the headline of the article. Boehlert, a propagandist for the DNC and Obama, blurted out his first reaction in an attempt to color how anyone who follows him would read the article or, hopefully, they wouldn’t bother to read it at all. This is how they operate over at Media Matters. They make unfunny jokes in an attempt to keep people from reading the articles and judging for themselves. Unfortunately for the hapless Senior Fellow, the story gained traction (it was linked by Drudge) so he had to read it. Realizing how damning it was to Obama’s campaign, Boehlert decided to attack Politico from another angle: Sourcing.

Boehlert is banking on the fact that, obviously, Romney isn’t the nominee. That’s about the only “truth” to his comment. What Eric wants his followers on Twitter to believe is that the whole thing is made up. Again, his goal is to keep people from actually reading the article or, at the very least, to poison the well before they read it so they discount what’s in it. But here’s the problem for poor Eric. Attacking “anonymous sources” is a little silly when he spent weeks promoting a story which was based on one – not several, one – anonymous source.

Indeed, a former Fox News employee who recently agreed to talk with Media Matters confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch’s cable channel.

Right. One “former Fox news employee” confirms what “critics” (aka Media Matters) have been saying for years. I’ve speculated that this former Fox employee is none other than David Shuster who has been shown to be a Media Matters talking point parrot when he had a job at MSNBC and who has participated in the Media Matters Pundit Boot Camp before, but that’s a guess. The point here is that Eric Boehlert is being a hypocrite. I know this isn’t a surprise – he works for Media Matters, it’s almost a prerequisite – but it needs to be pointed out.

There’s clearly a double standard at play. Everyone else must adhere to the Senior Fellow’s sourcing standards, but he doesn’t hold himself up to them. This kind of hypocrisy is why Mediaite’s Colby Hall once called Boehlert a “pedantic whiner.

But something unfortunate happened, as Media Matters seems to have become exactly the sort of blindingly partisan, subjective, and even misleading site that it was created to monitor. So what happened? How did an organization committed to “notify[ing] activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation” get usurped by pedantic whiners who have transformed a noble idea into an irrelevant, publicity-seeking rag?

Boehlert plays the role of credible media critic but a simple scratching of the surface reveals a raging hypocrite and, more disturbingly, a political operative who works at an organization that is currently enjoying tax-exempt status. What Media Matters hopes everyone sees as legitimate media criticism really turns out to be a blatant attempt at damage control on behalf of the Obama 2012 campaign. I have no problem if Eric Boehlert wants to be an incompetent hack. I do have a problem with his employer avoiding paying taxes under false pretenses.

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