The Group Behind Smear Campaigns Against Limbaugh and O’Reilly

September 30th, 2007 3:11 PM

Last week, two of the leading conservatives in the media, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, were dishonestly and unprofessionally attacked by press outlets that cherry-picked out of context remarks from lengthy radio broadcasts in order to vilify outspoken personalities whose opinions they don’t agree with.

Unfortunately, as folks around the country saw this play out on their television sets and newspapers, few were at all familiar with the organization behind the smear campaigns, or that this same group started the firestorm which ended with radio host Don Imus being terminated by NBC and CBS in April.

Maybe more importantly, even fewer citizens are aware that this organization is linked directly to Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as billionaire leftist George Soros.

For some background, John Perazzo wrote a column for FrontPage Magazine in July entitled “Media Matters: Hillary’s Lap Dogs,” that should be must-reading for all citizens interested in who's targeting America’s leading conservative personalities (emphasis added throughout):

Established in May 2004, Media Matters identifies itself as “a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media”—particularly information “that forwards the conservative agenda.” The organization was founded by the conservative-turned-leftist journalist David Brock, who says he created Media Matters “to combat” what he characterizes as the largely successful effort of “the right wing in this country” to “mov[e] the media itself to the right” and to “mov[e] American politics to the right.”

After explaining why the Clintons hate Don Imus, and how Media Matters has been collecting information on the controversial radio host for years just waiting for an opportunity to take him down, Perazzo addressed the unmistakable connection between this leftwing organization and the junior senator from New York:

Media Matters’ links to Hillary are at once intimate and multitudinous, and the organization’s devotion to her is nothing short of profound. In 1996 (eight years before Media Matters’ creation), the then-conservative David Brock was commissioned (with a $1 million advance) by the Simon & Schuster subsidiary Free Press to write a hard-hitting expose of Hillary. But the book, completed in 1997, turned out to be nothing more than a tepid, distinctly sympathetic account of the former First Lady’s life. That same year (1997), Brock publicly announced his political epiphany, unequivocally recanting his previous negative writings about the Clintons and embracing the liberal/Left cause. During this period, Brock developed a close relationship with Neel Lattimore, Senator Clinton’s openly gay press secretary and close confidante. Brock would eventually hire Lattimore as a director of “special projects” for Media Matters.

Brock’s affinity for Mrs. Clinton grew over time, and vice versa. According to Glenn Thrush of Newsday, Hillary “advised Brock on creating” Media Matters in 2004, “encouraging the creation of a liberal equivalent of the Media Research Center, a conservative group that has aggravated Democrats for decades.” Thrush reports that Hillary still “chats with [Brock] occasionally and thinks he provides a valuable service . . .” “For her part,” Thrush adds, “Clinton’s extended family of contributors, consultants and friends has played a pivotal role in helping Media Matters grow from a $3.5 million start-up in 2004 to its current $8.5 million budget.”

There was more in this September 7, 2006, Newsday article of note (emphasis added):

"David is immensely valuable to Hillary," says a wealthy Democrat with ties to Brock, speaking anonymously.


Brock's Web site debunks attacks on all prominent Democrats and has been funded by donors with connections to many party leaders.

Still, it's been particularly kind to Clinton. The site posts three to four articles per week chiding perceived Clinton bashers from Bill O'Reilly to Tucker Carlson to The New York Times. When Brock listed his 2005 accomplishments, he highlighted his point-by-point dissection of Ed Klein's error-strewn Clinton biography.


There are other Clinton connections. Media Matters' special projects director, C. Neel Lattimore, was Clinton's press secretary when she was first lady.

And Brock is close to Bill Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta, founder of the powerhouse Democratic think tank Center for American Progress. Podesta, one of Hillary Clinton's top policy advisers, made room for Media Matters in the center's offices before Brock found permanent digs for the group.

But that’s not all. According to Perazzo, the Hillary connection to Media Matters goes much deeper:

Media Matters and Hillary Clinton are further linked by their respective relationships with three of the most influential leftist operatives in the worldGeorge Soros, Morton Halperin, and John Podesta. All three of these men are intimately involved with a vital think tank called the Center for American Progress (CAP)which, according to Cybercast News Service’s research, was instrumental in getting Brock’s media group off the ground”; which helped launch Media Matters on May 3, 2004; and which maintains a tight bond with Brock’s organization to this day.

As NewsBusters reported in June, “the staff and Senior Fellows listing of this Center reads like a Clinton administration Who’s Who.” As Perazzo pointed out, it is directly connected to Media Matters and Soros:

CAP is heavily funded by the aforementioned billionaire financier George Soros, and in turn works closely with Media Matters to remove potential roadblocks (like Don Imus) from Hillary Clinton’s path to the White House. According to Bill O’Reilly, some of the money Soros gives to CAP eventually finds its way into the coffers of Media Matters, though Media Matters disputes this.

Soros in 2004 spent some $26 million trying, unsuccessfully, to defeat President Bush’s reelection bid, a task Soros called “the central focus of my life” and “a matter of life and death.” He has likened Republicans generally, and the Bush administration in particular, to “the Nazi and communist regimes” in the sense that they are “all engaged in the politics of fear.” “Indeed,” he wrote in 2006, “the Bush administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and Communist propaganda machines by drawing on the innovations of the advertising and marketing industries.” Soros elaborated on this theme at the January 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he told reporters: “America needs to . . . go through a certain de-Nazification process.”

Today Soros remains committed to ousting the Nazi-like Republicans from the White House. And because Hillary Clinton appears to be the person most capable of making his dream a reality, Soros is heavily invested in abetting her quest for the presidency. He does this in part by funding the Center for American Progress, with the knowledge that CAP will work synergistically with pro-Hillary organizations like Media Matters.

Hillary’s ties to Brock’s organization are further cemented by the largesse of such donors to Media Matters as Susie Tompkins Buell (Hillary’s close ally and a co-founder of the fashion company Esprit) and James Hormel (a San Francisco philanthropist who narrowly missed being named ambassador to Luxembourg during the Clinton administration in the 1990s).

Is the picture becoming clearer? Hillary and her backers have created an advocacy network whose expressed goal is to take down all of her critics in the media.

In fact, after Imus was fired by NBC and CBS, Media Matters published a 6,000-word article entitled “It’s Not Just Imus,” listing other political enemies of the Clintons such as Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson.

As Perazzo stated, “By eliminating such conservative voices from the airwaves, Media Matters could effectively insulate much of the American public from ever hearing about the negative traits and hidden agendas of Hillary Clinton, and thereby, in essence, ensure her ascendancy to the Oval Office.”

Well, last week, Media Matters went after Limbaugh and O’Reilly, and, sadly, many in the press bought their smears hook, line, and sinker without fully investigating what both hosts really said, and what the context of their statements were.

Maybe even more disgraceful, as press members parrot the cherry-picked reports from Media Matters, they are mute concerning the organization’s ties to a former president and current Democrat front-runner to win the White House in 2008.

Isn’t this the perfect story for muckraking, investigative journalism programs like “60 Minutes,” “Dateline,” and “20/20?”

And, as they receive information from this organization with clear ties to a leading political figure in our nation, shouldn’t media be somewhat cynical concerning what is coming from this group thereby feeling the need to thoroughly scrutinize its reports before sharing them with the citizenry?

Consider that Howard Kurtz on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday referred to Media Matters as a “liberal advocacy group.” If folks in the press are indeed aware that this is a leftwing shill, every report Media Matters publishes should be thoroughly researched and fact-checked before it is disseminated.

Failing this, media are simply acting as a conduit for propaganda from one presidential candidate to the public which is something that should be completely unacceptable to all Americans regardless of political leaning.

Please also see:

House Democrats to Offer Resolution Condemning Rush Limbaugh

ABC Reported on ‘Phony Heroes' Two Days Before Rush Limbaugh Did

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