On Thursday, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Media Matters, an organization founded by Clinton ally David Brock and funded, in part, by George Soros, said it has been quietly working behind the scenes with Facebook, the social media giant increasingly known as the “world’s most dangerous censor,” to allegedly fight what it calls “propaganda” and “fake news.”
Translation: Any outlet that happens to fall to the right of Josef Stalin is in danger of being targeted.
According to the Free Beacon:
Media Matters told current and prospective donors at a retreat in Florida over the weekend that it has been in discussions with Facebook leadership about their policies on inaccurate and partisan news stories on the website that many liberals blame for political losses last year.
“We’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise and offer input on developing meaningful solutions,” the group said in a briefing book obtained by the Washington Free Beacon at the conference.
“Media Matters will serve as their partner,” the group said of its work with Facebook and other social media companies.
Before we go much further, let us remind you that Media Matters engaged in a “war” against Fox News — activity that fell outside the group’s tax exempt status, according to a 2011 article at the Washington Times by C. Boyden Gray, a former White House counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush:
David Brock, the conservative turned liberal advocate, has recently garnered a considerable amount of press coverage for his attacks on Fox News for, among many other things, allegedly taking over leadership of the Republican Party. What the news coverage has ignored is his use of tax-free funds for his organization, Media Matters for America (MMA), for these attacks — a form of government support for activities that clearly do not merit tax-exempt status and that as a result infringe on Fox News’ First Amendment rights.
MMA was originally established as an Internal Revenue Service Section 501(c)(3) organization, that is, an organization that can receive tax-deductible contributions to engage in educational activities. The more precise purpose was to counter alleged media bias and so to “identify occurrences of excessive bias in the American media, educate the public as to their existence, and to work with members of the media to reduce them.”
What MMA actually is doing, however, moves far afield from identifying possible bias to mounting a campaign to undermine a major media outlet and to promote the Democratic Party and progressive causes associated with it. Mr. Brock himself has described this new strategy as “a war on Fox,” an effort “to disrupt [Rupert Murdoch‘s] commercial interests” and look for ways to turn regulators against News Corp.’s media outlets.
Back in 2011, I wrote an article accurately quoting a statement by “Baghdad” Jim McDermott, a Democrat representative from Washington. Others did as well, and was targeted by Media Matters for daring to do so.
A 2010 article at the Washington Examiner pretty much described the same thing, arguing that “facts don’t” seem to matter at Media Matters.
A 2012 article at Accuracy in Media further noted:
The news for Media Matters keeps getting worse and worse. After weeks of stonewalling the excellent Daily Caller series that broke on February 12, Media Matters founder David Brock and his co-author Ari Rabin-Havt of the new book The Fox Effect have selectively responded to some of the allegations made in the series. Media Matters for America is the far-left, George Soros-backed organization that claims its purpose is to monitor and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. But as characterized in The Daily Caller series, “Media Matters has in less than a decade become a powerful player in Democratic politics. The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country. Brock, who collected over $250,000 in salary from Media Matters in 2010, has himself become a major fundraiser on the left. According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.”
It gets worse. Brock has recently reiterated his partisan agenda, according to a post at the reliably left-wing Daily Beast:
“People are free to question my motives, but it should be pretty clear by now that the groups that I’ve created are committed to a more progressive America,” Brock told The Daily Beast in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I’m interested in building third-party organizational capacity to resist and oppose Donald Trump. I think that should be everybody’s goal on the left, to destroy Donald Trump, not to destroy each other.”
And it seems that Democrats aren’t too happy with Brock. The Daily Beast added:
It’s clear why Brock has acquired a long list of enemies on the more progressive corners of his own party. Brock’s political evolution is well-known: the former anti-Clinton right-winger who starting in the late 1990s transformed into a relentlessly pro-Clinton Democratic operative.
But the friction between Brock and Democrats is not merely limited to its more progressive faction—many alumni of Obama’s campaigns and White House, as well as Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 run, say they want Brock to stay far away from the Democrats’ future plans.
Keep all this in mind as we continue.
The Free Beacon continued:
In his speech to last weekend’s conference, Media Matters founder David Brock blamed “fake news,” among other maladies, for the November loss of his preferred presidential candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The briefing book bills Media Matters as “the top watchdog against fake news and propaganda.” With donors’ support, the group said, it will ensure that “Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, … no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists.”
Among its strategies for doing so has been direct engagement with Facebook and other top social media and technology companies.
Media Matters launched a petition drive during the 2016 campaign to pressure Facebook into addressing the ostensible proliferation of “fake news” on its website. The group credits that campaign with the company’s public vow to address the problem.
“After Facebook responded to our campaign by acknowledging the problem of fake news and agreeing to do something about it, we began a dialogue,” the briefing book says. “It became clear from these conversations that Facebook needed our help in fully understanding the problem and identifying concrete solutions.”
The goal, according to Media Matters, is to get Facebook to “adjust its model to stem the flow of damaging fake news on its platform’s pages.”
The organization also wants to enlist Google in its war on “fake” news but, the Free Beacon said, it’s not clear if the search engine is collaborating with Media Matters.
“After Google revised their terms of service in order to prohibit so-called fake news sites from using their advertising network, it was Media Matters that had the information necessary to identify 40 of the worst fake news sites to which this policy applied,” said the briefing book.
Let’s put this in a nutshell: Facebook, a site which once banned yours truly for 30 days for a picture of an eagle transposed on the U.S. flag, is reportedly working with a radically partisan left-wing group which has been partially funded by George Soros to squash information and content it doesn’t like.
Given the history of Media Matters and the history of its founder, it’s obvious that the collaboration between it and Facebook is part of an all-out effort to silence and shut down any site whose content falls to the right of center.
So much for the assurances Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave to MRC President Brent Bozell. At the time, Zuckerberg assured Bozell there would be no political censorship. You may recall that we expressed serious reservations about that claim. It seems we may have been right all along.
As a final note, Adina Kutnicki, an investigative writer based in Israel, and I are working on a follow-up to our previous book about the social media site, with a focus on the whole “fake news” controversy. Stay tuned here for more information on that.
- Facebook ‘assures’ MRC’s Bozell no political censorship in ‘fake news’ effort — We’re not reassured
- Media Matters hacks: Trump racist for saying Clinton ‘schlonged’ in 2008 — Video
- Clinton hack David Brock: ‘I’m done with phony outrage’ for families of Benghazi victims — Video
- Group financed by George Soros to help Facebook’s ‘Ministry of Truth’
- Should conservatives consider economic sanctions in light of Facebook-Snopes partnership?
And if you’re as concerned about Facebook censorship as we are, go here and order this new book: