Media Matters, the Organization that Called Out Fox’s Fake Commenters, Is a Liberal Goon Squad

It’s guilty of the same tactics, and its tax-exempt status is a travesty.

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Yesterday, my fellow Philly Mag blogger Joel Mathis was able to rile up the ire of the left with his post “Fox News Used Fake Online Commenters to Counter Bad Publicity.”

I had to smile at the indignation of posters to the stunning disclosure that some people aren’t who they say they are on the Internet. I hope none of the commenters, many of them anonymous, aren’t too disappointed when Bambi, the college cheerleader they’ve been chatting with online turns out to be Chuck the long haul trucker.

Aside from the feigned indignation from the ignorantly blissful, I was more than a little irritated that the primary source of the story is Media Matters, a liberal media goon squad whose sole objective is to discredit stories and sources that don’t toe the progressive, democratic party line.


I worked as the morning host of WWIQ, a short-lived conservative talk radio station. The sales staff was bright, eager and happy to have jobs in a tough economy. It was difficult to stomach, as Media Matters undermined sale after sale. A client would buy time and suddenly get phone calls and emails from a concerned mother, a retired veteran or a fellow business owner; all claiming to be from the area; all threatening to boycott if the owner didn’t stop running ads on IQ 106.9.

It didn’t matter that the caller IDs showed many of the phone calls were from Washington, D.C., or Massachusets, the businesses didn’t need the headache and so they would cancel. Sales person after sales person was let go until the station was finally sold. Some of the sales staff still have not found employment, all because they worked for a radio station that didn’t agree with Media Matters. All because of the same kind of well orchestrated, less than honest campaign that Media Matters now finds so offensive from Fox News.

Media Matters has used these tactics across the country to attack and undermine radio stations, blogs and its prime target, Fox News. Media Matters CEO David Brock boasted to Politico in 2011 that his organization engages in “guerilla warfare and sabotage” to battle conservatives in the media.

Who finances this goon squad of liberal media assassins? You do, whether you agree with them or not. Media Matters has federal tax-exempt status. In other words, they get a federal tax subsidy to undermine free speech, to quiet and discredit anyone with whom they disagree.

I don’t think there are many of us who like the current media trend of partisan opinion over facts or manipulated argument over honest debate that only serves to further divide us without educating us. But in a country that holds freedom of expression sacred, media organizations, like Fox News and MSNBC, are allowed to pander to the adoring political bases of the two major political parties, as long as they are self-funded.

No one questions the right of Media Matters to disagree with Fox News or conservative radio stations, even if it hypocritically engages in the same partisan blood sport that it claims to abhor. But no one can defend its status as a non-profit, a designation saved for charitable organizations that help the sick and needy, without political agenda or partisan purpose.

The fact that Media Matters manipulates tax law to attack and “sabotage” in self-interest, is much more repulsive than any accusation it makes against Fox News.

  • Mom

    I love reading your column larry. Never ever leave us!
    The nonprofit entities all use the same tactics. It is the training mantra of building a nonprofit. They use the same tactics to secure laws and regulations that serve to increase their future budgeting, ergo….federal grant dollars.

    If more people realized that the commenters on most every news story are mostly paid “trollsters” and that most of the lobbyists pursuing special interests are all from the same group…..maybe we could get some regulation thru to either manage, or eliminate if need be, the entire nonprofit process.

    I have not seen federally funded nonprofits that ever do anything but drain the federal grant funding and produce only meager and annoying “awareness” campaigns, or raise money for more awarenesses, or destroy all around them on behalf of a funding grant. A good nonprofit is a privately funded private foundation charitable entity. No federal grant-supporting needed and, therefore, less likely to be as abused as the federal grant funding program that feeds the bristling swarms of idiot nonprofits choking the life out of the citizenry. Cymothoa Exigua. Federal grant funded Nonprofit. Same thing.

  • Quixote

    It should again be pointed out that, at least in New York, such tactics are illegal. See the documentation of one current case involving sock puppets and criminally deadpan “satire” at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    and see how the NY Attorney General opened a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn to get those scoundrels posting fake comments on Yelp:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24218139

    It is, of course, not surprising to see so much rampant criminality in a country with a somewhat strained economy and a public school system populated by a good number of perverts and many others who are perhaps not the cream of the crop, but we should at least be clear that if you use “sock puppets” or engage in “astroturfing” or send out deadpan “confessions” in someone else’s name, at least in New York (a model in this respect for the entire country), you are a criminal and risk being prosecuted. All such incidents should be thoroughly investigated at once by the appropriate Internet law enforcement authorities and the perpetrators should be brought to justice.

  • Bob

    Yeah, totally worse than the Koch brothers’ influence. Their non-profits are totally on the up and up and never seek to engage in partisan politics. Nice diversion there, Larry.