Media Matters, Desperate to Deflect From Charges of Antisemitism, Trumps up Attack on Big Journalism

Media Matters for America has had a bad year, with declining traffic and regular knocks from more notable media outlets. This week alone, MMfA was slammed by Politico and the Simon Wiesenthal Center for antisemitism, so they are eager to deflect by trumping up an attack on Big Journalism.

From Politico (emphasis added):

The Center for American Progress, the party’s key hub of ideas and strategy, and Media Matters, a central messaging organization, have emerged as vocal critics of their party’s staunchly pro-Israel congressional leadership and have been at odds, at times, with Barack Obama’s White House, which has acted as a reluctant ally to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government …

“There’s two explanations here – either the inmates are running the asylum or the Center for American Progress has made a decision to be anti-Israel,” said Josh Block, a former spokesman for AIPAC who is now a fellow at the center-left Progressive Policy Institute. “Either they can allow people to say borderline anti-Semitic stuff” – a reference to what he described as conspiracy theorizing in the Alterman column – “and to say things that are antithetical to the fundamental values of the Democratic party, or they can fire them and stop it.”

As we wrote earlier this week:

Smith notes, for example, that MJ Rosenberg, “Senior Foreign Policy Fellow” at MMFA, “regularly heaps vitriol on those who disagree” with his radical left-wing views on Israel, including liberal pro-negotiation voices such as Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic.

In May 2011, Andrew Breitbart noted that Rosenberg had accused supporters of Israel of disloyalty to the U.S. and had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “terrorist.”

Finally, from our post regarding the Simon Wisenthal Center’s criticism of MMfA:

Media Matters for America’s Senior Fellow MJ Rosenberg has become infamous for accusing any American Jews who support Israel of dual loyalty (he calls them Israel-firsters). He also has claimed the evil Israel lobby” controls both the media and the U.S. foreign policy. He also uses the term “neo-con” as a slang pejorative term for Jews who are politically conservative. Rosenberg is not the only Jew-Basher at Media Matters, just the most vocal

Fast forward to late last night, when MMfA chose to attack a cartoon that accompanied an article on this site.

On Dec. 15, 2011, at 10:02 p.m. EST, Media Matters for America’s Kevin Zieber posted a blog criticizing the use of a graphic in a post at Big Journalism that, Zieber argued, was reminiscent of a cartoon that appeared in antisemitic propaganda in the 1930s.

Approximately seven hours before that–well before we had received any complaints, but after Big Journalism post was published–Breitbart editor-in-chief Joel Pollak noticed the graphic, and alerted me that he suspected it was a recycled anti-Jewish cartoon. (He’s an Orthodox Jew with a degree in Jewish Studies, so he tends to pick up on these things.) He hadn’t seen the image before, but he had suspicions, and asked that we take the image down and stop using it in future. It had been used innocently, without knowledge of the provenance of the image. Nevertheless, it was replaced in the article almost immediately.

Again, all of that was proactive, done hours before Media Matters or anyone else had even noticed. There was no antisemitic intent in the use of the cartoon, nothing like what one can find on the pages of MMfA daily (for which they refuse to apologize, retract, or explain). We removed it anyway, as soon as humanly possible. Let’s see MMfA do the same to Rosenberg.

*Note these pieces as well:

Media Matters, Think Tank Under Fire For Israel Commentary

Friends of MMfA: Brave New Film’s… venerable… iconography

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Big Journalism, White House, Politico, Benjamin Netanyahu

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