As it did with the Occupy Wall Street movement, Media Matters for America is throwing its support behind another ill-conceived and ill-fated radical movement: namely, the attempt to politicize the death of victim Trayvon Martin.
Media Matters has amplified left-wing media attempts to focus public outrage on guns and “stand your ground” laws, accusing the National Rifle Association of encouraging vigilantism, while saying nothing about left-wing vigilantism targeting alleged killer George Zimmerman.
In addition, while doing nothing to correct the smears of NBC News and other liberal mainstream outlets, Media Matters has played up a supposed conservative “racial backlash,” ignoring the evident attempts by the left, the media, and the Obama administration to make the Martin case about race.
Along the way, Media Matters has blundered into some rather comical errors.
Last week, when ABC News made the claim–now withdrawn–that police video showed Zimmerman had no visible signs of injury, Media Matters Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert took to Twitter to taunt Breitbart.com. Just as the left has rushed to judgment in the Martin case, so, too, Boehlert had spoken too soon.
Today, Media Matters accused Breitbart.com of “using tragedy as a political weapon,” a classic case of what psychologists call “projection.” Along the way, Media Matters’ Simon Malloy attempted to defend the president’s comments on the case:
The simple, non-Alinsky answer for why the president weighed in was that the controversy over Martin’s death had become a national story and he was specifically asked about it by a reporter.
What Malloy does not reveal–or does not know–is that the reporter in question was Mike Viqueira, of NBC News–the same network that selectively edited George Zimmerman’s 9/11 call. Viqueira also appears on MSNBC, whose prime time host Al Sharpton has used his program to play up the Martin controversy.
Viqueira’s question was the only one asked and answered in the Rose Garden that day, during a press event about an entirely different issue (the president’s nomination of Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank).
Given apparent ongoing coordination between MSNBC and the White House, a staged question is hardly a remote possibility. It would not be the first time a president, Republican or Democrat, had done so. And the president’s decision to make his well-considered and prepared response about race deserves to be criticized.