The liberal group Media Matters has quietly transformed itself in preparation for what its founder, David Brock, described in an interview as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel….
“The strategy that we had had toward Fox was basically a strategy of containment,” said Brock, Media Matters’ chairman and founder and a former conservative journalist, adding that the group’s main aim had been to challenge the factual claims of the channel and to attempt to prevent them from reaching the mainstream media.
The new strategy, he said, is a “war on Fox.”
In an interview and a 2010 planning memo shared with POLITICO, Brock listed the fronts on which Media Matters – which he said is operating on a $10 million-plus annual budget — is working to chip away at Fox and its parent company, News Corp. They include its bread-and-butter distribution of embarrassing clips and attempts to rebut Fox points but also a series of under-the-radar tactics.
Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Beck’s show.
It didn’t work out.
Fox is crushing the competition as the go-to cable news outlet for political events. So much so that CNN is close to abandoning hard news coverage, while MSNBC carves out the small wacked-out progressive fringe with bizarre self-destructive hosts and commentators. Megyn Kelly is a star who strikes fear into Media Matters.
The war is over, and Media Matters is declaring, ahem, victory, as reported at HuffPo:
But in the coming years, Fox will no longer be the center of Media Matters’ universe. That’s because the group believes it has effectively discredited the network’s desire to be seen as “fair and balanced.”
“The war on Fox is over,” said Media Matters Executive Vice President Angelo Carusone. “And it’s not just that it’s over, but it was very successful. To a large extent, we won.”
According to its strategic plan for the next three years, a copy of which was provided to The Huffington Post, Media Matters envisions shifting its focus to new, increasingly influential targets, including Spanish-language media, social media streams, alternative online outlets and morning and entertainment sources. It will enhance its state media and issue-based monitoring, as well as continue its focus on right-wing radio and legacy outlets.
“We’ve always said, ‘Media Matters watches Fox, so you don’t have to,’” said Bradley Beychok, the group’s president. “That remains true. Fox News isn’t going to stop lying, so we’ll stay on that beat. But, our success regarding Fox News means that our talented team will carry out our mission in different ways consistent with a new strategic vision responsive to the transforming media environment.”
Uh huh. Greg Gutfeld had it right:
Media Matters declares victory over FNC. In other news, fleas declare victory over cat.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) December 13, 2013
Carusone is the guy who organized the boycott movement against Rush Limbaugh, as we detailed. Limbaugh remains the King of talk radio, as the “StopRush” movement now consists of a small number of delusional dead-enders who don’t seem to realize the real world has move on. Media Matters also declared victory over Limbaugh.
Media Matters is moving on to help Hillary, although it can’t announce it as such. The War with Fox News and Limbaugh and much of conservative media was lost. The new war is beginning, and Media Matters doesn’t want to fight old and losing battles.
As much as I detest how Media Matters has poisoned the public discourse, the folks at Media Matter are not stupid people. But they must think you are, otherwise they would not have declared victory.
(Featured Image: David Brock on Al Sharpton Show)