Media Matters for America has become so politically toxic–due to its Israel-bashing and its attempt to silence conservative media voices–that Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz–a pro-Israel Democrat and civil libertarian–declared today that he would not vote for President Barack Obama unless he dissociated from the group.
Dershowitz, who earlier told the Daily Caller that he had first learned about Media Matters from Neo-Nazi emails touting the group’s articles, cited both Media Matters’ virulent hostility towards Israel, and its method of attempting to silence opponents, as reasons for the Obama administration to sever any ties it had with the group:
First of all, [Media Matters] are not liberals. They are radical Stalinists, for the most part. They are–they bear no relationship to liberality. Liberals want to see an open marketplace of ideas, they don’t want to shut down debate the way these guys are trying to shut down; they don’t employ left-wing McCarthyism the way these guys do–these guys have nothing to do with liberalism. They’re radical extremists….And any association with the Obama administration is going to hurt the Obama administration. There’s not enough room under a big tent for both me, and people who are like me–support Israel, I’m a centrist in support of Israel, I’m in favor of the two-state solution–there’s not enough room for me and the bigots of Media Matters. The Obama administration is going to have to choose….I could not vote for any candidate who had anything to do with Media Matters. That’s clear. That’s as clear as can be. I will not–I will take an oath here that I will not vote for a candidate who has any direct association with Media Matters.
Dershowitz described Media Matters’ use of the term “Israel firster” for American supporters of Israel as “the oldest form of bigotry.” He added: “It’s an absolute bigoted defamation. And the people who make it–whether it be J Street, who has supported it, or Media Matters, that has really coined it, or others–are engaging in very un-American activities.” Recently, the Center for American Progress–a close ally of Media Matters–repudiated the term, but Media Matters has refused to do so.
Similarly, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin yesterday took to Facebook yesterday to support Dershowitz’s warning to his fellow Democrats that Media Matters “will be singlehandedly responsible for (Obama) losing this election.” Noting that she, unlike Dershowitz, opposes the Obama administration’s agenda more generally, Palin observed nonetheless that “Americans of all political stripes are awakened to the dangers of unethical journalists and media organizations that deceive their audiences and use bullying tactics to unfairly target political opponents.”
Larry O’Connor’s full interview with Dershowitz is posted below: