Grassroots Commentary

Report This

Thomas Berry · Feb. 20, 2012

Last September, www.mybarackobama.com, the official website of Obama for America, launched Attack Watch. Obama supporters are urged to use Attack Watch to report criticism of the President: “Got a GOP robo-call or an email forward full of falsehoods? Found a misleading leaflet in your mail? Tell us about it, and help fight back against the attacks on President Obama and his record.”

The Orwellian notion of inviting people to report criticism of the President to his agents drew instant scorn from conservatives, and the site was mercilessly ridiculed and lampooned.

Nevertheless, it survives, sending out near-daily e-mails – many over Barack or Michelle Obama’s name, speaking of misleading. Along with a typically pretentious “Keeping HIS (emphasis theirs) Word” page claiming Obama has kept his promises, it now includes a “Truth Team.”

The Truth Team provides information – I heartily dispute their claim of “facts” – to supporters for use in arguing with critics, and it e-mails them “tipsheets” of talking points. The first Tipsheet, which criticized Governor Romney for allegedly flip-flopping on earmarks, was sent ten days after Obama himself very publicly flip-flopped on Super PACs. Oddly, keepinghisword.com fails to mention that promise.

But hilarity ends when the work of Media Matters for America (MMfA), as reported in recent days by The Daily Caller, is considered.

According to MMfA’s site, it is “a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501©(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. Media.”

“Correcting” means skewing news coverage wholesale by channeling approved content from the Obama administration and Congress to major outlets. I can think of no other time outside of a World War that the government has relied on a propaganda organ, official or de facto, to affect public opinion through such blatant and organized distortion of news coverage. Critics made such claims about Fox News during the Bush administration, but those claims were demonstrably false; this, on the other hand, is quite genuine.

“Correcting” also means silencing. Rather than mere refutation, MMfA attempts to discredit and expel conservative hosts while pressuring their sponsors to pull advertising.

It has also sought to ruin Fox News. A September 2009 memo by progressive spokesman and MMfA contributor Karl Frisch recommended hiring private detectives to shadow and investigate Fox News employees, filing harassing lawsuits against it, and intimidating and influencing stockholders while disrupting their meetings.

These open assaults on freedom of speech, funded indirectly by taxpayers through tax-exempt protections for the attacker, can exist only in a land that no longer cherishes essential freedom.

But it’s all for a good cause. After all, George Soros says that Fox News’ “incendiary rhetoric” may incite violence. Better to lie about opposition than tolerate it.

The Frisch memo calls Fox News “ … the central enemy and antagonist of the Obama administration, our Congressional majorities, and the Progressive movement as a whole.” The enemy of progressivism is not Fox News; it is liberty.

While “Keeping His Word” may be illustrate His Narcissism’s colossal ego, the rest – from Media Matters’ stunts to treating any criticism as an attack – is driven by a fundamental enmity for dissent, and a profound paranoia of being proven wrong.

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