Friday, April 1, 2011

Where Is The Outrage about the Media Matters Campaign?

It has been a almost a week since reporter Ben Smith of “Politico,” a website that covers politics, broke a story about the liberal so-called media watchdog group, Media Matters, launching an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.

Now, I am a new junkie, but I obviously can’t see every television newscast or hear every radio broadcasts. With the exception of Sean Hannity, who is a target of this campaign, I haven’t heard anyone else in the media refer to the “Politico” report or take an editorial stance against such despicable action.

By the way, “Politico” is considered a fairly mainstream political reporting website.  Ben Smith is not about to make something up negatively about Media Matters.  He quotes David Brock, the founder of Media Matters as saying the new strategy at his website should be considered a “war on Fox.” The opening quote regarding “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” is also attributed to Brock.

Where is the outrage in any area of the news media?  I’ve heard little or nothing from liberal or conservative media outlets.  I would like to ask all veteran news reporters, how is what Media Matters is professing to do any different than what the news media condemned the administration of Richard Nixon for doing in the early 70s?

For those of you who aren’t old enough to remember, political operatives of the Nixon Administration engaged in a comprehensive campaign in the early 70s to undermine and discredit anyone they viewed as opposing the policies and methods of the then President Richard Nixon.  It involved breaking into breaking into the Democratic Party Headquarters in 1972 in the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C.  The burglary evolved into the scandal named after the building, and Watergate became the all encompassing name for everything that the Nixon administration did before and after the incident.  Eventually, the Watergate scandal resulted in Nixon’s resignation.

Every news media outlet at that time was obsessed with focusing on everything Richard Nixon did and with good reason. In 1971, Nixon operatives even broke into the psychiatrist’s office of Daniel Ellsberg, the former U.S. military analyst who released papers on the unpopular Vietnam War.  Ellsberg gave what came to be known as the “Pentagon Papers” to The New York Times for publication.  These formerly secret documents were a great embarrassment to the John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Nixon administrations, and Nixon operative were hell bent on finding information to discredit Ellsberg.  

Nixon’s campaign to destroy his perceived enemies marked one of the truly dark periods of American politics.  Fortunately for the country, Nixon was forced to resign as President in August 1974 and remains the only United States President to resign from office.

OK media!  Where is the similar coverage of what Media Matters has openly declared?  Where is the outrage about professed methods and tactics that virtually mirror those of the Nixon Administration?  Is it possible that many in the mainstream media are cheering for Media Matters to succeed because they are getting their brains beat out in the ratings by Fox, and Fox doesn’t conform to liberal media orthodoxy?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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