Obama Programming Media Matters, or is it the Other Way Around?
-By Warner Todd Huston
There has been a lot of chatter about the blockbuster report at DailyCaller.com revealing the extent to which the self-proclaimed “media watchdog” outfit Media Matters for America is joined at the hip with the White House. Many are shocked at just how much Obama is seemingly programming the media with the supposedly independent Media Matters acting as its pipeline to the Old Media.
Shockingly, DailyCaller notes that MMFA is even holding teleconference briefings with members of Obama’s administration and the subsequent salting of the results of those meetings among the Old Media’s coverage seems to be a weekly occurrence. If true this is in contravention to MMFA’s tax-exempt status, too.
The report points out that at least up until last fall, an Obama administration official participated in weekly strategy sessions to plan out what the Old Media should know about the Obama agenda. DailyCaller notes that Obama’s recently resigned com director Jen Psaki was “a frequent participant” on those strategy calls.
Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.
Every Tuesday evening, meanwhile, a representative from Media Matters attends the Common Purpose Project meeting at the Capitol Hilton on 16th Street in Washington, where dozens of progressive organizations formulate strategy, often with a representative from the Obama White House.
Some may remember back in July of last year when several White House interoffice memos written by Psaki and other White House officials were discovered by Watchdog group Judicial Watch. The memos were filled with attacks on Fox News in general and Brett Baier in particular.
That month, Fox News contributor Brett Baier had written a story pointing out that the White House had specifically excluded them from being able to interview Treasury pay czar Ken Feinberg.
Emails released by Judicial Watch, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, show Deputy White House Communications Director Jennifer Psaki writing in reference to the dustup, “brett baier just did a stupid piece on it—but he is a lunatic.” Another email from Psaki reads in part, “I am putting some dead fish in the fox cubby–just cause.”
Other memos seemed to confirm that Obama’s White House was going out of its way to exclude Fox News despite public claims to the contrary.
With the revelations about Pski’s participation on MMFA strategy sessions, it makes clear the campaign against Fox News waged by the White House as well as Obama’s attempt to control the news media’s coverage.
Of course, this pipeline can go both ways, too. Is Media Matters pushing its own George Soros-funded, far left ideas on the Administration in these weekly strategy sessions? And how independent is MMFA if it is being included in strategy sessions led by the White House? This all too cozy relationship certainly eviscerates any expectation that MMFA’s reports can be trusted. And with claims that MSNBC is fully programmed by the White House and MMFA, and that the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and the L.A. Times are also spoon-fed the Obama line on a daily basis, well, it calls into doubt everything in the Old Media’s coverage of Barack Obama’s White House.
But don’t expect the Old Media to take this lying down. Already the media is attacking DailyCaller’s exposé. Just today, for instance, in an attempt to undermine the DC series, Politico’s Dylan Byers complained that many of the DailyCaller’s quotes are from unnamed sources and saying that DC editor Tucker Carlson’s piece does “not cite specific examples” to back up the allegations.
But, is this the same Politico that published over 100 stories based on unnamed sources and unfounded allegations — most of which still haven’t been proven — against Herman Cain, stories that contributed to his ultimate withdrawal from the race for the GOP nomination for president? You know it is.
In any case, as more of the DC’s report emerges, what we see is a disturbing case of influence peddling among the media that calls into question everything we read about Barack Obama.
Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.