The right-leaning Daily Caller last night published the first in an investigative series about Media Matters for America, alleging that the liberal media watchdog is in bed with the Obama administration, as well as a number of media organizations and bigwigs, and that founder David Brock systematically attempts to influence the media. One memo states that Media Matters "intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage," according to the story. Brock himself declined to comment. More highlights from the extensive article, which is bylined by Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson and three other authors and was culled from multiple sources, including internal Media Matters memos:
- Brock is paranoid: He is surrounded by an incredible amount of security, and was once pulled off the roof of his office while smoking because there was a fear of "snipers," says a former co-worker. One employee says Brock "had more security than a Third World dictator." His executive assistant reportedly carried a gun to public events to protect Brock.
- Brock is erratic: Insiders say he appears to suffer from mania and is on some sort of medication for it, and the Drudge Report claimed in 2002 that Brock had a breakdown the year prior and was treated in a psych ward. At a 2008 Democracy Alliance meeting, Brock "lost his shit," got "incredibly aggressive," and "alienated important people in the progressive movement," causing many to wonder about his mental health. At another meeting of the left-wing group in 2010, Brock again behaved in a way that one attendee describes as "erratic, unstable, and disturbing."
- Brock likes to party: Some insiders believe he regularly used drugs including cocaine in the past.
- On Media Matters' influence: "We were pretty much writing their prime time," a former Media Matters employee says of MSNBC. "But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff."
- One example of a campaign: After a Media Matters employee recorded Don Imus' rant about the Rutgers women’s basketball team in 2007, the organization went on the warpath, notifying multiple organizations in order to turn it into a huge story. Media Matters then employed more than 50 people to find and publicize past controversial statements from Imus, while Brock coordinated a message with the heads of liberal activists groups. Imus was quickly fired from MSNBC. The article also claims Media Matters got Lou Dobbs fired from CNN, whipped up much of the opposition to Glenn Beck, and has a direct line to many influential members of the media who are eager to report on the information it gathers. (As for reporters who don’t cooperate? Media Matters uses its influence against them, the article claims.)
- And two weird asides: Brock "really doesn't like ugly people," an employee says, and he once allegedly wanted to fire a researcher who wasn't attractive enough. Another strange story: Two employees were caught having sex in the "communications war room" one weekend, says an employee. Neither was fired.