What do Barbara Streisand, the Pritzker Family, Jewish Communal Fund and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston have in common? Along with other Jewish related charitable foundations they are all helping to fund the Antisemitism of Media Matters for America (MMFA).
The Daily Caller recently published internal MMFA documents exposing the group’s coordination with the White House and liberal media outlets such as MSNBC and Politico. The objective is to control the storyline Americans see every day as news.
The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country. Brock, who collected over $250,000 in salary from Media Matters in 2010, has himself become a major fundraiser on the left. According to an internal memo obtained by The DC[Daily Caller], Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.
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. “But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff.”
I have been investigating MMFA since early 2007 when they were primarily designed to protect Hilary Clinton from “right wing” attacks. Once Barack Obama became the 2008 nominee they switched tactics to protecting the nominee and his progressive agenda. Sadly, rather than becoming a true media watchdog, they lowered themselves to name-calling and the use of truth in their writing became unnecessary.
Part of their new attack strategy was directed against Jews and Israel, as the progressive agenda looks at Israel as a roadblock to a world where American and Arab leaders can sit in front of a campfire to sing “Kumbaya.”
The antisemitism of Media Matters took a leap forward when it hired M.J. Rosenberg to blunt criticism of Obama’s Israel policies. While there was no proof that this was a White House request, the strong coordination between the White House and Media Matters suggests that this may be the case. Rosenberg is a former AIPAC employee who served as editor of the Near East Report but was forced out because AIPAC wanted the magazine to be more clearly aligned to their pro-Israel agenda. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum (IPF) where he strengthened his attacks not only on Israel, but on anyone who dared to support the Jewish State.
At the IPF, and even to a larger extent at MMfA, Rosenberg regularly questioned the patriotism of American Jews who support Israel(calling them Israel firsters), claimed those same Jews (he calls them the Israel lobby) controls the media and America’s foreign policy.
In December, MMFA’s sister organization Center for American Progress (run by Obama buddy John Podesta) went after the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Not to be bullied, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center fought back. Rabbi Cooper spoke out against the Antisemitism of MMFA and the Center for American Progress.
“Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult in this country to take a position sympathetic to the Jewish state and in favor of the continuation of America’s historic strong alliance with Israel without being called “an Israel Firster” and charged with “dual loyalties….. CAP blogger Eli Clifton joined Media Matters Senior Foreign Policy Fellow MJ Rosenberg in using Twitter to promote an article accusing the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance of pushing “Western groupthink that has for centuries justified wars and countless atrocities against the Arab world . . .[that’s] representative of the way many Americans feel toward Muslims and Arabs — that they are all terrorists.” Rosenberg himself has repeatedly smeared Jewish groups such the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as “Israel Firsters.”
Not many people were surprised when the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the use of the dual loyalty term, but when the Jewish progressive magazine, The Tablet condemned CAP and MMFA for its use of anti-Semitic stereotypes, eyebrows were raised.
The root of this problem is not a twenty-something blogger writing something stupid on the Internet. Rather, it is that anti-Semitic rhetoric and logic are being protected and justified by those who are supposed to be gatekeepers. These people, often in the service of their larger political aims, are willing to apologize for or ignore what is obviously Jew-baiting and Jew-hatred…..This isn’t how the world works. Americans’ sensitivity to racist language directed at African-Americans has not made Americans insensitive to “real” anti-black racism. Rather it has made us scrupulous about our language, and subsequently our beliefs and practices have come to reflect, if not wholly fulfill, the promises embodied in this country’s founding documents…..What makes people insensitive to racism is when American political and intellectual elites refuse to confront racist language. The use of phrases like “Israel Firster” and “dual loyalist” that are based on anti-Semitic tropes is anti-Semitic. So is the belief that Jews fan the flames of hatred for discussing the opinions of those who hate them
Eventually the CAP apologized and fired those responsible but MMfA, through its hired hitman MJ Rosenberg, continues their antisemitic ranting.
One of the MMfA items published by the Daily Caller report was a list of foundations who donated money to keep Media Matters spewing antisemitic hatred. After some additional research we discovered a number of those foundations have Jewish goals, donate to Jewish causes, or had Jewish founders, who help fund the antisemitic Media Matters.
Some of the names on this list stand out, for example Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker the president of his family foundation is very involved in Jewish causes including AIPAC and making sure the lessons of the Shoah are taught in public schools. Is his support of President Obama so strong that he ignores MMfA’s questioning of Jewish loyalty to America? I would ask the same of the Rappoport Foundation who gives generously to the Jerusalem Foundation and United Jewish Communities, the Ellis Foundation who donates so generously to Hillel and many others on the above list.
For comic relief I can report that the Lear Foundation, founded by TV executive Norman Lear, gave both to Media Matters and the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of tolerance; perhaps he was trying to hedge his bets by supporting accused and accuser.
As for the Jewish community federations of Cleveland, San Diego and San Francisco as well as the combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston there is no excuse. These organizations have no right to take funds directed toward Jewish charities and spend it on partisan secular politics.
Sometimes we Jews tend to be our own worst enemies. As Ze’ev Jabotinsky said, Jews shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not “meet halfway” those who do not want to meet you.
Media Matters for America didn’t just start spreading antisemitic stereotypes in December and neither is the bigotry a new exercise for their hired hitman M.J. Rosenberg. It is incredible that some Jewish foundations care so desperately about pushing the liberal agenda that they don’t bother (or don’t care) to understand that those same liberal organizations are pushing an antisemitic agenda. Its time for these groups (and their donors) to wake up and smell the cholent.